The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has announced its intent to acquire latest satellite platforms and payload technologies to fuel its prowess for launching next generation communication satellites. Stating this, Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said, “the space organisation was in the process of developing various technologies and also in the process of finding a suitable foreign industrial alliance to acquire the technology and upgrade its current satellite platforms to meet the future demand.” Acquiring such capabilities would allow the space agency to launch communication satellites in the higher frequency bands with about 15 kW of power, and a data handling capability in the range of 100 giga bits per second that can meet the growing demand for broadband internet and rural telecom connectivity in the country, said Isro. “In the next five years, we are getting into a new level of communication satellite technology to give a satellite that delivers three-times the power we are giving today, and can provide a revolution in the country’s broadband communication,” he added. On its own part, Isro has bigger plans.
Its human space flights through the experimental flight of GSLV Mark-III scheduled for “launch in the next 2-3 months”. While Isro’s workhorse launching vehicle PSLV has carved a niche by scoring 26 wins out of the total 27 missions till date, the existing GSLV and the upcoming Mark-III would give it the strategic edge for introducing higher capacity communication satellites into space. “The first experimental flight of GSLV Mark-III with passive cryogenic stage and that too in a crew module would be a precursor to the possible human space flight,” said Radhakrishnan during his chief guest address here today at the convocation of BITS Hyderabad 2014 batch. He said Mark III launching vehicle was capable of placing “4-4.5 tonne capacity communication satellite in the geostationary orbit”. The existing PSLV is compatible for launching 1.8 tonne communication satellites and it is 2.2 tonne for the GSLV. Speaking on the Mars Orbiter Mission, he said its success would position India as the first Asian nation to do it and the only country globally to achieve maiden mission accomplishment. The Mars Orbiter Spacecraft has traversed nearly 88 per cent distance till now and the next operational milestone is the insertion of spacecraft into the Martian orbit on September 24 this year. India is also jointly working with the NASA to develop a unique satellite system meant for disaster management and others, and is set for launch in 2019-20, according to him.