Space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is all set to launch the GSAT-17 from French Guiana on June 28, the third launch in less than a month.
"GSAT-17 is getting launched on June 28. We will be working on the replacement satellite for IRNSS-1. Our plan is to have two Mark-II and two Mark-III launches apart from eight to ten PSLV launches per year," a beaming Isro Chairman A S Kiran told reporters after the successful launch of PSLV-C38.
He was addressing the media after Isro's workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 40th flight (PSLV-C38), successfully launched the Cartosat-2 series satellite, a dedicated one for the defence forces, along with 30 nano satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
On June 5, Isro had launched its most powerful and heaviest geostationary rocket carrying advanced communication satellite GSAT-19, weighing 3,136 kg, from the spaceport here.
Kumar said, "we have approvals for Chandrayaan-II and Aditya. Meanwhile, we are finalising Mars Orbiter II and Venus mission. Study teams are looking at them. Very soon, we will be finalising our plan of action. Then we will get the necessary approvals from the government and move ahead."
About IRNSS-IA, the Isro chief said a replacement satellite would be sent as the "clocks have stopped functioning and there is a need to replace them."
Kumar said PSLV has emerged as a credible launch vehicle for anyone across the globe, because of the frequency at which launches are happening and also the access and timeline within which their satellites can be put into orbit.
"With each (PSLV) launch, we are trying to improve our capability in one new area, like multiple restarts, multiple orbits...Different capabilities we are building. As we continue to do so, PSLV will be the in-demand vehicle for satellite launches across the world."
"In future, we are planning communication satellites where electric propulsion systems would be used. Currently, we have put on electric propulsion system in GSAT-9 that has been tested out. The primary advantage is that it will reduce the mass of the satellite by replacing chemical propulsion system. We have a lot of plans," he said in response to a question on what lies ahead for Isro.
He lavished praise on the Cartosat-2 team, which soared into space this morning along with 30 other nano satellites from 14 countries apart from India.
Earlier, the mission director B Jayakumar said all the satellites launched today by PSLV-C38 had been positioned in orbit.
"With today's launch, we have acquired the confidence that we can launch multiple satellites in multiple orbits in a single mission," he said.