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India lines up three PSLV launches this year


7 Apr 2011
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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is lining up three PSLV launches from Sriharikota spaceport by October this year, its Chairman K Radhakrishnan said today.
He said PSLV-C17 would launch GSAT-12, equipped with 12 extended C-band transponders, in July.
PSLV-C18 and PSLV-C19 would launch Megha-tropiques, an Indo-French joint mission, and microwave remote-sensing satellite, RISAT-1, with synthetic aperture radar during September-October this year.
ISRO officials said India''s GSAT-8 satellite is scheduled to be launched by European space consortium Arianespace''s Ariane-5 rocket at 0207 hours (IST) on May 20 from French Guiana.
Radhakrishnan said GSAT-8, one of the heaviest satellites built by ISRO, weighs 3100 kg at lift-off and is equipped with 24 Ku-band transponders which would augment direct-to-home services.
Meanwhile, ISRO officials said the Failure Analysis Committee, headed by former ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair, set up by ISRO following the failure of the GSLV-F06 mission, and the Programme Review and Strategy Committee, chaired by K Kasturirangan, to look into the future of the GSLV programme, have submitted their reports.
Reports of these committees are currently being reviewed by eminent national experts, including Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Prof. M G K Menon, Prof. Yash Pal, Prof. U R Rao, Dr. R Chidambaram and Prof. R Narasimha, officials said.
Radhakrishnan said the Space Commission at its meeting scheduled on May 24 would look at the reviews.
He refused to give a time-line for India''s ambitious human space flight programme, saying: "Now, with the state of GSLV (proposed to be used for this mission), first priority is to make the GSLV a reliable vehicle".
Director of ISRO Satellite Centre, T K Alex, echoed Radhakrishnan''s position, saying there are "issues" regarding GSLV and ISRO is "concerned about" GSLV.
The GSLV-F06, with GSAT-5P on board, failed on December 25 last year in a set-back to ISRO. On the controversial Antrix-Devas deal -- Antrix is the commercial arm of ISRO --, Radhakrishnan reiterated that the Government has annulled the contract.

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