After Chandrayaan, ISRO to launch missions to Sun, Venus and Mars again

Inter-planetary missions aside, ISRO is also busy with its ambitious Rs.10,000 crore man-in-the-space mission or Gaganyaan mission
Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose only

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will not have time to rest after its first moon landing mission Chandrayaan-2 as it has a busy schedule ahead that includes inter-planetary missions, building a space station and visiting the Sun among others.

After its moon landing mission-Chandrayaan-2 — ISRO has set its eyes on Sun in 2019-20 with its Aditya-L1 probe. The mission is to study the Sun's corona. Following that will maybe the second mission to Mars in 2022-23 and also a mission to Venus in 2023.

The Indian space agency has chalked out plans to carry out an ambitious 36 launches in two years time that includes sending up satellites on 19 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), five Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-II (GSLV Mk II), seven GSLV Mk III and five small rockets. The third mission to Moon with a plan to collect rock samples and coming back to earth is also on the ISRO's radar.

Inter-planetary missions aside, ISRO is also busy with its ambitious Rs.10,000 crore man-in-the-space mission or Gaganyaan mission. The Indian space agency is working on building the capsule that would carry Indian astronauts to travel in the space and other necessary infrastructure. Prior to that, an unmanned space mission will be carried out. The ISRO Chairman K Sivan had said that Indian space programme is now on mission 2.0 mode with programmes like a human-space mission, interplanetary missions, setting up space stations, even while trying to catch up with other countries is incidental.

"From the design stage, the human space capsule has progressed to the realisation stage. We are targeting December 2020 for the first unmanned mission," said Sivan. That aside, ISRO is also in the process of building a small rocket with a capacity to carry about 500 kg luggage.

The Indian space agency has also kick-started the initiative to outsource PSLV rocket from a private consortium. The ISRO's new commercial arm NewSpace India Ltd has called for Expression of Interest (EoI) for manufacturing five PSLV rockets first, while the target is 12 rockets per year. The Indian industry partners will be permitted to utilize the capital-intensive facilities already realized within ISRO centres under Government-Owned Company Operated (GOCO) model for this purpose wherever appropriate/feasible.

Upon successful and satisfactory completion of realisation of the first lot of five PSLVs, NewSpace India/ISRO will enhance the scope for realisation of PSLVs to 12 per annum, under a separate contract. The private industry will use the existing approved supply chain of ISRO for the purpose.

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