At present, rockets are launched from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro's) spaceport at Sriharikotta, near Chennai. The government has decided to set up a second facility in the backdrop of an increase in the number of launches by Isro for domestic and international customers.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today, Union Minister of State in the Department of Space and Department of Atomic Energy, Jitendra Singh gave out details about the status of setting up of country’s second space rocket launching port by Isro in Tamil Nadu's Kulasekarapattinam.
As per a request made by the Department of Space, the Tamil Nadu government has identified over 961 hectares in Thoothukudi district. Land survey is completed for about 431 hectares and preliminary notification has been issued.
Survey work for the balance area is in advance stage. At present, one launch pad is being proposed at the second launch port at Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu.
They added, the space agency's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) is at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu where it assembles the second and fourth stage/engines for the PSLV. Instead of transporting the second and fourth stages to Sriharikota from Mahendragiri it will be easier to shift them to the launch pad if it is built in Kulasekarapattinam which is around 100 km away.
Meanwhile the Minister said, the Center’s policy decision of opening up the space sector for private players enables them to develop various space qualified subsystems and systems along with building of satellites and launch vehicles. They are also permitted to establish facilities and provide launch services and other space based services. Many of these services and products will definitely find global customers, which will increase India’s share in the global space sector market, he said.