The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will undertake a slew of missions in 2023 and prepare for manned space mission, Gaganyaan, the space agency’s chief S Somanath said on Friday. According to ISRO, Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters. A number of PSLV and GSLV missions were also scheduled through the year and Friday’s successful SSLV D2 launch has “set the tone” for ISRO’s busy schedule this year, he said. “Currently we are preparing the next launch of GSLV MKIII, the LVM 3 M3 mission leading to the launch of OneWeb India-2 (with) 36 satellites. So we are preparing that launch,” which will happen by mid-March, he told reporters here after the successful launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) D2. Immediately after today’s SSLV launch, ISRO was commencing the launch campaign of PSLV C 55 mission.
This launch is for New Space India Limted (NSIL) for a commercial launch, most probably by the end of March, he said, adding the launch campaign will commence today by placing the rocket at the launch pedestal in a new facility that is going to be used this time.
Other plans included landing demonstration of the reusable launch vehicle.
“Currently the teams are at the landing site in Chitradurga. We are hoping in a few days of time the initial preparations will be alright and we will be able to do the landing demonstration,” Somanath said.
“This year is going to be filled with lot of new developments and activities, specifically leading to the Gaganyaan programme and we are hoping to have the test flight, test vehicle missions…recovery capability module to be demonstrated in one mission today and followed by one more launch this year itself and (we are) also trying for the unmanned mission if these two missions go very well,” Somanath said.
NISAR (NASA-ISRO SAR Mission) launch is scheduled by the end of the year, he added.
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