Indian space agency ISRO has plans to increase the frequency of launches to 12 per year. According to recent news reports, ISRO is making attempts to increase the capacity to deliver by scaling up the frequency of launches to 12 per year by building satellites and reducing the cost of launch. At present, ISRO launches seven satellites per year. News reports suggest that the space agency is in the process of building a second vehicle assembly to enhance the turnaround time and throughput for the PSLV so that with the same launch pad ISRO can do more launches. Plans are also underway to undertake the Chandrayaan-2 mission in the first quarter of 2018, reports suggest. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO revealed that the approval to build a space station was pending.
"Earlier, we were doing 2-3 launches every year, gradually we increased this frequency to 4-5 and last few years we did seven launches,” Kumar shared. This year, the target has been set for 8-9 PSLV per year, two GSLV-Mk II and one GSLV-Mk III, which means a total of 12 launches.
Chandrayaan-2 mission is a completely Indian mission, with no Russian participation. The components required for this mission, such as the development of variable thrust engines, lander and rover is already underway. Earlier, ISRO made news for the proposed Venus mission, described as Earth’s twin sister. Kumar divulged that besides Venus, Mars and Asteroids mission were also being discussed by study teams and will be finalized in due time.
In the meantime, ISRO has also identified steps in terms of air-breathing propulsion system. Kumar shared, “What we shown is combustion with oxygen and hydrogen. The next step is the thrust that is generated should be more than the friction that's going to come up because of the surfaces involved," Kiran Kumar explained.
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Richa Bhatia is a seasoned journalist with six-years experience in reportage and news coverage and has had stints at Times of India and The Indian Express. She is an avid reader, mum to a feisty two-year-old and loves writing about the next-gen technology that is shaping our world.