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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today said its next launch, the first Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H, will be during the end of December or the first week of January.
The space agency had earlier said that the mission, whose main payload would be the Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite, along with 29 co-passengers, was scheduled for a December launch.
"We are working towards it. It will be in the end of December or first week of January. In that time frame," ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said.
PSLV-C40 will be used for the launch from the spaceport of Sriharikota, about 100 kilometres from Chennai.
The mission will be a combination of 25 nanosatellites, three micro-satellites and one Cartosat satellite, along with "maybe" one university satellite, ISRO officials had earlier said.
Most co-passengers of Cartosat-2 series satellite would be from foreign countries, including Finland and the US, they had said.
On August 31, India's mission to launch its backup navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on board PSLV-C39 ended in a failure after a technical fault on the final leg following a perfect launch.
ISRO then said the heat shield did not separate on the final leg of the launch sequence and, as a result, IRNSS-1H got stuck in the fourth stage of the rocket.
According to ISRO, Cartosat-2 series satellite launch is a follow-on mission in Cartosat-2 series with the primary objective of providing high-resolution scene-specific spot imageries.
It carries Panchromatic and Multi-spectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration (TDI) mode and is capable of delivering high-resolution data.
To a question on plans for next year, Kiran Kumar said the idea was to reach a target of one launch a month.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of Space Technology Gallery at Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum here.
Asked whether the Space Activities Bill, 2017 would come up during the Budget session of Parliament, Kiran Kumar said "We have now put it in public comments. It would have to go through a set of discussions. The process has started."
The draft of the proposed Bill to promote and regulate space activities of India, along with encouraging the participation of the private sector, has been uploaded on the ISRO website for comments from stakeholders and the public.
On Chandrayaan-2, Kumar said it was going on track and that the flight hardware was getting assembled and tested.
"Itis going through various phases. We are targeting for the first-quarter of next year," he said.
Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the Moon, would be an advanced version of Chandrayaan-1 launched nine years ago.
This spacecraft is a composite model consisting of orbiter, lander and rover.
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