Updated January 7th, 2024 at 22:36 IST
ISRO aiming for at least one rocket launch per month in 2024, says SDSC Director
The scientist said that around four to five of the aimed 12 launches this year will be for ISRO's Gaganyaan program.
After an immensely successful 2023, ISRO is now aiming for bigger goals, including the launch of one rocket every month this year.
Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Arumugam Rajarajan shared plans ISRO will execute in 2024 which will involve increasing launches of the Launch Vehicle Mark-III or LVM3. ISRO started the year with the launch of PSLV to put the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSAT) into orbit on January 1.
Rajarajan said that around four to five of the aimed 12 launches this year will be for the Gaganyaan program. "We have a lot of experiments planned, including several missions, recovery experiments, pad-abort and also sending a nominal flight to see what challenges we might face," Rajarajan said highlighting the upcoming NISAR satellite launch.
The NISAR satellite has been built by NASA and ISRO for measuring Earth's changing ecosystems and it is targeted for launch in January.
About Gaganyaan, he said that ISRO will conduct a wide range which include simulating challenges associated with the launch, return and recovery of astronauts when they launch for the first time. The first crewed mission by ISRO is scheduled to launch in 2025 once all systems are verified.
ISRO is working on Gaganyaan to send a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km and bring them back safely after three days.
The agency has chosen the LVM3, its heaviest rocket, to launch Gaganyaan missions and is working to make it human rated. "All systems in LVM3 launch vehicle are re-configured to meet human rating requirements and christened Human Rated LVM3. HLVM3 will be capable of launching the Orbital Module to an intended Low Earth Orbit of 400 km," the Gaganyaan mission description says.
As part of the preparation, demonstration missions will include the Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT) and Test Vehicle (TV) flights. On October 25 last year, ISRO announced the successful completion of the Test Vehicle-Demonstration 1 mission (TV-D1) to test the Crew Escape System. It performed as intended, ISRO said.
"We will have to make sure that everything works well and that is why we have so many experiments and tests planned to be conducted," Rajarajan reportedly said.
Published January 7th, 2024 at 22:25 IST