Saturday, April 28, 2012

Much-awaited GSLV in Sept-Oct: Isro

SOURCE DHNS The much-awaited Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) launch with indigenous cryogenic stage engine will take place in Sept-Oct 2012, even as an experimental flight of its upgraded GSLV-Mark III version is also on the cards during this year.The fuel-booster turbo pump, that failed during the first launch of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic stage in April 2010, has now been modified and a series of ground tests were on to soon enable its successor flight, Indian Space Research Organisation chairman K Radhakrishnan said.
Addressing a news conference at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here after the successful launch of India’s RISAT-1, he said tests on GSLV’s flight stage preparations, including an endurance test of 1,000 seconds, testing of flight engines and a ground test in vacuum conditions of three stages of Isro’s next generation rocket to launch heavier communication satellites, have been going on to clear it for the big launch by October 2012.
While a huge Rs 300 crore vacuum conditions test facility has been put up at the Isro’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre at Mahendragiri near Thiruvananthapuram, where all the GSLV’s pre-flight tests were going on, he said the vehicle will be ready for assembly after these tests were done. The earlier GSLVs had been launched with cryogenic engines from Russia.
Taking a volley of questions on a range of issues, Radhakrishnan said though India’s second moon mission — Chandrayaan-II scheduled for 2014 — was originally planned to be on the GSLV, the Isro wanted one more GSLV flight before that could be undertaken. “So, there will be two GSLV flights in a span of six months before the next moon mission,” he said.
Smooth going

Affirming that preparations for Chandrayaan-II were going on smoothly, he said discussions were on with the Russians on the site selection for the “Lander”. The trial movements of the “Rover” were also going on in Bangalore, he emphasised adding the Isro will be using only indigenous cryogenic stage engines for all the GSLV flights planned in the future.
As far as Thursday’s PSLV-C19-RISAT-1 mission was concerned, he said the satellite alone had cost the Isro Rs 378 crore to build, while the launch vehicle cost came to Rs 110 crore, taking its total cost to Rs 488 crore.
An atmospheric test for the GSLV-Mark-III upgraded version, sans the cryogenic stage, will also take place this year, said Radhakrishnan. “In fact during Jan-Feb 2012 we fully assembled a GSLV-Mark-III in Sriharikota and integrated it on our second launch pad and a series of tests were done followed by a detailed review by experts,” he disclosed.
The Isro had also changed its plans for the human spaceflight, he said. Instead of the human spaceflight happening on a GSLV flight, “we now want to do it on a GSLV-Mark-III,” he added. To a question on mega-tropiques, the unique meteorological satellite launched by the Isro in October last year, Radhakrishnan and the other scientists present at the press conference said it was working fine and would be extensively used for weather forecasting in the years to come.
Disclosing that the next communication satellite GSAT-10 was ready for launch, Radhakrishnan said it would be put into orbit by a French Ariane satellite in August 2012. It will add 30 transponders to our existing capacity.
This would be followed by GSAT-11 which will provide India with a larger transponder capacity of the order of 10 gigabits to enable DTH service too. In a few years, the Isro will go for even heavier communication satellites.
Devas deal

On the Devas-Antrix deal, Radhakrishnan ruled out any reopening of the contract that had been annulled last year. But he declined further comment as a legal process was pending in the Supreme Court.
Stating that Isro’s plan for a probe to Mars still awaited the Union Cabinet’s approval, Radhakrishnan said plan funds were utilised fruitfully by the space body. During the 11th Five Year Plan period, the Isro had utilised up to Rs 20,000 crore for 29 missions, compared to Rs 13,000 crore spent during the 10th Plan period for 20 missions.

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