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  Indian space programme driven by vision of
Dr Vikram Sarabhai
considered as the father of Indian Space Programme.
There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.
Forthcoming Satellites
Resourcesat-2 is a follow on mission to Resourcesat-1 to provide data continuity and planned to be launched by PSLV-C16 during last quarter of 2010. Compared to Resourcesat-1, LISS-4 multispectral swath has been enhanced from 23 km to 70 km based on user needs. Suitable changes including miniaturisation in payload electronics have been incorporated in Resourcesat-2.
Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) is a microwave remote sensing satellite carrying a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

The satellite weighing around 1850 kg is in the final stages of development for launch during last quarter of 2010 into a 536 km orbit with 25 days repetitivity with an added advantage of 12 days inner cycle for Coarse Resolution ScanSAR mode.
ISRO and French National Space Centre (CNES) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2004-05 for the development and implementation of Megha-Tropiques (Megha meaning cloud in Sanskrit and Tropiques meaning tropics in French). The launch of Megha-Tropiques is planned during the fourth quarter of 2010.

Megha-Tropiques is aimed at understanding the life cycle of convective systems and to their role in the associated energy and moisture budget of the atmosphere in the tropical regions. The satellite will carry an Imaging Radiometer Microwave Analysis and Detection of Rain and Atmospheric Structures (MADRAS), a six channel Humidity Sounder (SAPHIR), a four channel Scanner for Radiation Budget Measurement (SCARAB) and GPS Radio Occultation System (GPS-ROS).
INSAT-3D is a meteorological satellite, planned to be launched on-board GSLV in 2010-11. The satellite has many new technology elements like star sensor, micro stepping Solar Array Drive Assembly (SADA) to reduce the spacecraft disturbances and Bus Management Unit (BMU) for control and telecomm and/telemetry function. It also incorporates new features of bi-annual rotation and Image and Mirror motion compensations for improved performance of the meteorological payloads.
The Satellite for ARGOS and ALTIKA (SARAL) is a joint ISRO-CNES mission and planned to be launched during 2011. The Ka band altimeter, ALTIKA, provided by CNES payload consists of a Ka-band radar altimeter, operating at 35.75 GHz. A dual frequency total power type microwave radiometer (23.8 and 37 GHz) is embedded in the altimeter to correct tropospheric effects on the altimeter measurement. Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning Integrated by Satellite (DORIS) on board enables precise determination of the orbit. A Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) helps to calibrate the precise orbit determination system and the altimeter system several times throughout the mission.
ASTROSAT is a first dedicated Indian Astronomy satellite mission, which will enable multi-wavelength observations of the celestial bodies and cosmic sources in X-ray and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The scientific payloads cover the Visible (3500-6000 Å), UV (1300-3000 Å), soft and hard X-ray regimes (0.5-8 keV; 3-80 keV). The uniqueness of ASTROSAT lies in its wide spectral coverage extending over visible, UV, soft and hard X-ray regions.
Configured as an exclusive C-band communication satellite, GSAT-5P/INSAT-4D will carry 12 normal C-band transponders and 6 extended C-band transponders with wider coverage in uplink and downlink over Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe as well as zonal coverage with a minimum of 35 dBW EIRP. The spacecraft has a mission life of 12 years and planned to be launched onboard GSLV-F06.
The primary goal of GSAT-6/INSAT-4E, which is a Multimedia broadcast satellite, is to cater to the consumer requirements of providing entertainment and information services to vehicles through Digital Multimedia consoles and to the Multimedia mobile Phones. The satellite carries a 5 spot beam BSS and 5 spot beam MSS. It will be positioned at 83º East longitude with a mission life of 12 years. The launch is planned on-board GSLV during 2010.
GSAT-7/INSAT-4F is a multi-band satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band. It is planned to be launched during 2011 onboard GSLV and positioned at 74º East. The satellite weighs 2330 kg with a payload power of 2000W and mission life of 9 years.
GSAT-8/INSAT-4G is a Ku-band satellite carrying 18 Ku band transponders. It will also carry a GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload and planned to be launched during 2010 with a mission life of 12 years and positioned at 55º E longitude. This I-3K satellite with a lift-off mass of 3150 kg and a payload power of 5300W will be launched on board ARIANE-5.
GSAT-12 is being realised as replacement INSAT-3B. The satellite will carry 12 Extended C-band transponders and will be positioned at 83º East longitude with a mission life of 7 years. The bus system is based on I-1K platform with ASIC based BMU and 64 Ah Li-ion batteries. The satellite weighs 1375 kg with a payload power of 550W and launch is planned onboard PSLV during 2010.
GSAT-9 will carry 6 C band and 24 Ku band transponders with India coverage beam. The satellite is planned to be launched during 2011-12 with a mission life of 12 years and positioned at 48º East longitude. This I-2K satellite has a liftoff mass of 2330 kg and payload power of 2300W.
GSAT-I0 will carry 12 Normal C-band, 12 Extended C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders. It will also carry GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload. The satellite is planned to be launched during 2011 with a mission life of 15 years and positioned at 83º East longitude. This I-3K satellite with liftoff mass of 3435 kg and payload power of 4500 W will be launched on board ARIANE-5.
Forthcoming Launches


Realisation of subsystem for the next flight Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F06) carrying GSAT-5P is in advanced stage. The GSLV-F06 is expected be launched during last quarter of 2010.


Preparation for the next flight Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) carrying RESOURCESAT-2 is in advanced stage of realisation. The PSLV-C16 is expected be launched during last quarter of 2010.

Future Launch Vehicle


GSLV-Mk III is envisaged to launch four tonne satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. GSLV-Mk III is a three-stage vehicle with a 110 tonne core liquid propellant stage (L-110) and a strap-on stage with two solid propellant motors, each with 200 tonne propellant (S-200). The upper stage will be cryogenic with a propellant loading of 25 tonne (C-25). GSLV Mk-III will have a lift-off weight of about 629 tonne and will be 42.4 m tall. The payload fairing will have a diameter of 5 metre and a payload volume of 100 cubic metre. GSLV Mk III is planned to be launched during 2011-12.

Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)

As a first step towards realizing a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully re-usable launch vehicle, a series of technology demonstration missions have been conceived. For this purpose a Winged Reusable Launch Vehicle technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured. The RLV-TD will act as a flying test bed to evaluate various technologies viz., hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air breathing propulsion. First in the series of demonstration trials is the hypersonic flight experiment (HEX).

Human Space Flight Mission Programme

Proposal for a management plan for Human Spaceflight Programme (HSP) was prepared and pre-project activities were approved. The program envisages development of a fully autonomous orbital vehicle carrying two or three crew members to about 300 km low earth orbit and their safe return. It is planned to realise the programme in 2015-16 time frame.

Space Science Missions

Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-II)

The main objective of SRE II is to realize a fully recoverable capsule and provide a platform to conduct microgravity experiments on Micro-biology, Agriculture, Powder Metallurgy, etc. SRE-2 is proposed to be launched onboard PSLV-C19 in of 2010 - 11.


Chandrayaan-2 mission is planned to have an orbiter/lander/rover configuration. The mission is expected to be realised by 2012 - 13. The science goals of the mission is to further improve our understanding of origin and evolution of the Moon using instruments onboard Orbiter and in-situ analysis of lunar samples and studies of lunar regolith properties (remote & direct analysis) using Robots/Rovers.


The First Indian space based Solar Coronagraph to study solar Corona in visible and near IR bands. Launch of the Aditya mission is planned during the next high solar activity period ~ 2012. The main objectives is to study the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and consequently the crucial physical parameters for space weather such as the coronal magnetic field structures, evolution of the coronal magnetic field etc. This will provide completely new information on the velocity fields and their variability in the inner corona having an important bearing on the unsolved problem of heating of the corona would be obtained.


YOUTHSAT is a participatory scientific mission with payloads from both Russia and India. It would be carrying three scientific payloads one from Russia and two from India.

It is a micro satellite carrying scientific payloads with participation from universities at graduate, postgraduate and research scholar level and would participate from testing of the payloads in laboratory to the utilisation of the data from payloads. Participation of young scientists will inculcate interest in space related activities and provide opportunities for realisation of future scientific payloads at the university level. YOUTHSAT is scheduled to be launched as auxiliary satellite along with Indian remote sensing satellite during 2010 with an orbital altitude of 630 km at an inclination of 97.9º.

Satellite Navigation


The Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to implement an indigenous Satellite-Based Regional GPS Augmentation System also known as Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) as part of the Satellite-Based Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS)/Air Traffic Management (ATM) plan for civil aviation. The Indian SBAS system has been given an acronym GAGAN - GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation. A national plan for satellite navigation including implementation of Technology Demonstration System (TDS) over the Indian air space as a proof of concept has been prepared jointly by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and ISRO. TDS was successfully completed during 2007 by installing eight Indian Reference Stations (INRESs) at eight Indian airports and linked to the Master Control Center (MCC) located near Bangalore.

The first GAGAN navigation payload has been fabricated and it was proposed to be flown on GSAT-4 during Apr 2010. However, GSAT-4 was not placed in orbit as GSLV-D3 could not complete the mission. Two more GAGAN payloads will be subsequently flown, one each on two geostationary satellites, GSAT-8 and GSAT-10.

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