The Indian Space
Research Organisation (Isro) started the year 2017 by making history, launching 104 satellites in one go and is expected to continue with the momentum as it lines up a series of important launches this year.
"We are planning to launch two satellites, one each in March and April this year," said Isro, Chairman, A S Kiran Kumar.
P Kunhikrishnan, Director, Satish Dhawan Space
Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, said there are three missions to be launched in the first half of 2017 and activities are in progress at various centres of Isro.
At Sriharikota, a launch campaign of three different types of vehicles namely PSLV, GSLV
Mark-III, the next generation launch vehicle, have been progressing in a professional way activating the entire launch complex facilities including the two solid propellant plants that deliver all the solid motors required for this mission.
This launch will be an important milestone for future Indian space
Mark - III will be India's most powerful launch vehicle built to lift the heaviest Indian communications satellites to space.
It can put satellites weighing 4,000 kg in space, double the weight that the current GSLV-Mk II can lift. It will also enable ISRO
to launch communications spacecraft to geostationary orbits of 36,000 kms from India. Because of the absence of a powerful launcher, ISRO
currently launches satellites above 2,000 kg on European rockets
for a big fee.
He added that there are a series of missions, including the GSLV
Mark III and pad abort human in space
programme, coming in in near future.
The propulsion team has realised the C25 engine, the cryogenic engine for GSLV, and the stage has gone through a successful task for 50 second duration, making way for the GSLV
Mark III mission in the immediate future, said senior officials.
Another official said, Isro
is also developing and testing the Chandrayan II lander propulsion which is getting ready for the integrated test by this month-end or so.
"We are targeting first quarter of 2018 for the launch," said Kumar
Chandrayaan-2 will be India's second lunar mission, India's second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1. It consists of an orbiter, lander and rover.
"We are also getting ready for the C25 stages for its penultimate qualification test for full duration test for 640 seconds in few days from now. We have challenging times ahead and we are also getting ready for missions of PSLV, GSLV
Mark III in one or two months,"said the official.