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Isro to launch three satellites this year

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) would launch three satellites this year including Oceansat, which would be ready in two months, said ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair.

Oceansat would be launched through a PSLV and would be useful in monitoring the ocean atmosphere to make predictions for the fisherfolk. Another satellite would be launched through the GSLV in the next three months and the third, again through a PSLV, towards the end of the year, he said.

Speaking to the media after delivering the AV Rama Rao Technology Award lecture on Monday at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology here, he said Isro was working to bring the benefits of the satellites to the rural areas by using them for kharif rice assessment, developing water resources, fisheries, wasteland mapping and studying the composition of atmosphere for weather forecast. “In the long run, we dream to have a rocket system built on the concept of a space shuttle, which would take off from the ground, go to space and return,” he said.

Cutting down the costs of access to space was a major challenge. Also, the space industry was in search of new metals that would resist high temperatures in the order of 1,000 degree centigrade.

Though solar energy was abundant, solar cells were not efficient yet and the cost of setting up solar farms was prohibitive.

“It would be ideal if the efficiency of a solar cell increased from the present below 30 per cent to about 50 per cent,” he said adding that nanotechnology could provide an answer in producing the right kind of material to increase the efficiency.

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First Published: Tue, May 12 2009. 00:20 IST