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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 comity of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.
Forthcoming Satellites
GSAT-6 & 6A
GSAT-6 is a high power S-band communication satellite. The spacecraft is configured around I-2K bus with a lift-off mass of 2200 kg. It is configured with CxS and SxC transponders. This spacecraft will also provide a platform for developing technologies such as demonstration of large unfurlable antenna in satellites, handheld ground terminals and network management techniques that could be useful in future satellite based mobile communication applications.

GSAT-6A will be a follow-on satellite planned to be launched by the end of 12th Five Year Plan. GSAT-6 is planned to be launched by GSLV.
GSAT-9 spacecraft, configured to augment the growing need of Ku-band transponders. The spacecraft employs the standard I-2K structure with the power handling capability of around 3000 W, with a lift off mass of 2195 kg. It is designed for a mission life of more than 12 years.

The satellite is planned for launch onboard GSLV.
GSAT-11 is an advanced communication satellite employing a new class of bus weighing 4000-6000 Kg. The commercial payload includes Ka x Ku-Band Forward Link Transponders and Ku x Ka band Return Link Transponders.
GSAT-15 is a communication satellite of 3150 kg lift-off and 6500 W power generation capacity. It is designed for a mission life of more than 12 years. The spacecraft's commercial payload includes Ku-Band transponders and a two channel GAGAN payload.

GSAT-15 is planned to be launched onboard a procured launcher.
Resourcesat-2A, a follow on mission to Resourcesat-2, is intended to provide continuity of data to the users. The configuration is similar to Resourcesat-2 having three-tier imaging capability, with a unique combination of payloads consisting of three solid-state cameras, viz., a high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanning Sensor - LISS-IV, a medium resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanning Sensor - LISS-III and an Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS).

The readiness of the satellite is planned during 2015-16.
Cartosat-2C mission is similar to Cartosat-2A/2B with a few technological enhancements and with the mission objective of providing high resolution scene specific spot imagery. It would carry Panchromatic and Multispectral cameras operating in Time Delay Integration (TDI) mode. The spacecraft is capable of along track and across track steering up to ±45 deg and ±26 deg respectively.

The spacecraft is planned to be launched by PSLV into a nominal altitude of 500 km, with a mission life of 5 years. Cartosat-2D and Cartosat-2E will have similar configuration of Cartosat-2C. The readiness of the first satellite is planned during 2015-16.
GISAT will carry a GEO Imager with multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50 m to 1.5 km) imaging instruments. GISAT will be placed in the geostationary orbit of 36,000 km height to provide near real time images of large areas of the country, under cloud free conditions, at frequent intervals. That is, selected sector-wise image every 5 minutes and entire Indian landmass image every 30 minutes at 50 m spatial resolution.
INSAT-3DR will be a follow-on satellite to INSAT-3D and it is planned to be positioned at 74 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit.

Readiness of spacecraft is planned during June 2015. INSAT-3DS, the ground spare is also under development.
Launch Vehicle / Forthcoming Launches
Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)

A winged Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) has been configured to 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 towards realising a Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) fully Reusable Launch Vehicle.

The launch of RLV-TD HEX-01 mission is planned in 2014.

Pre Project activities of Human Space Flight Mission Programme

The objective of Human Spaceflight Programme is to undertake a human spaceflight mission to carry a crew of two to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return them safely to a predefined destination on earth. The programme is proposed to be implemented in defined phases. The pre project activities are progressing with a focus on the development of critical technologies for subsystems such as Crew Module (CM), Environmental control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Crew Escape System, etc., and performance demonstration of major systems through Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) and crew escape system through Pad Abort Test (PAT).

Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-II)

SRE-2 Project was formed with the main objective of realising a fully recoverable capsule and to provide a platform to conduct microgravity experiments. SRE capsule has four major hardware, namely, Aero Thermo-structure (ATS), Spacecraft platform, Deceleration & Floatation system and Payloads.

ATS base structure has been realised. Six plasma wind tunnel tests were conducted to validate repair scheme of the silica tile. To qualify new elements mounted in the base region of SRE-2, an integrated test of annular deck was successfully completed. Carbon-Carbon cap has been processed as 4D composite through Hot Isostatic Pitch Impregnation and Carbonisation (HIPIC) route. Processing of Carbon-Carbon shell through 2D Pitch Impregnation and Carbonisation route is in progress. Interface design of Carbon-Carbon cap and shell was revisited based on the new thermo-mechanical properties. SiC coated Carbon-Carbon samples have been validated at plasma wind tunnel facility.

Space Science Missions


Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission. It consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. It is planned to be launched as a composite stack into the Earth Parking Orbit (EPO) of 170 X 18,500 km by GSLV-Mk II. The Orbiter carries the combined stack up to moon till the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI). The combined stack is then inserted into a lunar orbit of 100 km x 100 km. The Lander is separated from the Orbiter in this orbit.

The Orbiter with scientific payloads will orbit around the moon. The Lander will soft land on the Moon at a specified site and deploy the Rover. The scientific payloads onboard the Orbiter, Lander and Rover are expected to perform mineralogical and elemental studies of the lunar surface.

During 2010, it was agreed that Russian Space Agency ROSCOSMOS would be responsible for lunar Lander and ISRO will be responsible for Orbiter and Rover as well as Launch by GSLV. Later, due to a shift in the programmatic alignment of this mission, it was decided that the Lunar Lander development would be done by ISRO and Chandrayaan-2 will be totally an Indian mission.


ASTROSAT is a multi-wavelength astronomy mission aimed at studying the celestial sources and will carry a suite of instruments sensitive over a wide spectral region covering Visible, Ultraviolet, Soft X-ray and Hard X-ray bands. ASTROSAT will be placed in a 650 km near-equatorial orbit using PSLV-XL.

The four X-ray payloads are: Three identical Large Area Xenon-filled Proportional Counters (LAXPC) instrument covering 3-100 keV region, a Cadmium Zinc-Telluride Imager (CZTI) array with coded mask aperture sensitive in 10-100 keV band, a Soft X-ray Imaging Telescope (SXT) using X-ray reflecting mirrors, X-ray CCD for imaging and spectral studies in 0.3 – 8 keV band and a Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) for detection and monitoring of new and known X-ray sources in 2 – 10 keV region. The UV and Visible bands are covered by an Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) consisting of two identical telescopes, one covering the FUV band (130 – 180 nm) and the second sensitive in NUV (180 – 300 nm) and Visible (350 – 600 nm) bands.


Aditya-1 is a scientific mission for solar studies. The major scientific objectives of the mission are to achieve a fundamental understanding of the physical processes that heat the solar corona, accelerate the solar wind and produce Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). It was conceived as a small satellite carrying only a coronagraph as a payload.

In order to get the best science from the Sun, continuous viewing of the Sun is preferred. A Satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/ eclipses. Based on the technical studies, it was found that PSLV-XL developed at ISRO has the capability to launch a satellite which can be placed at a halo orbit around L1 point. The following six proposals have been short-listed for the mission:

  • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), IIA, Bengaluru
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), IUCAA, Pune
  • Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA), SPL/VSSC, Trivandrum
  • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), PRL, Ahmedabad
  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), SAG/ISAC, Bengaluru
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS), SAG/ISAC, Bengaluru

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