India to Launch 6 More Satellites by Next Year End

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India will launch six more satellites during 2015-16 of which two would be communication satellites, three navigation satellites and one space science satellite ASTROSAT, parliament was told on Thursday.In a written reply, Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the prime minister’s office, told the Rajya Sabha: “Six more satellites are planned to be launched during 2015-16. These are two communication satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-15; three navigation satellites IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F & IRNSS-1G; and one space science satellite ASTROSAT.”In addition, it is also planned to launch 13 more satellites belonging to four countries using the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

As of April 2015, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has launched 74 satellites.

Out of these, seven satellites failed to reach orbit due to launch failure and three satellites failed in orbit, Singh said.

In addition, Isro has successfully launched 40 foreign satellites belonging to 19 countries and four micro and nano satellites built by students of Indian universities using the PSLV rocket, he said.

Following the launch of the Isro IRNSS-1D navigational satellite at the end of March, Isro said  it is looking at the possibility of having ion propulsion system to power its future satellites, said a senior space scientist on Saturday.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre director K.Sivan had said: “In order to reduce the satellite mass, we are looking at ion propulsion system.” Presently, satellite fuel occupies space and make it heavy. According to Sivan, the proposed technology would be tested in a communication satellite.

The other technology that the centre is working on is semi-cryogenic engine. India’s heavy rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII – will be powered by the cryogenic engine.

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