ROCKET LAUNCHING PORT

context: The status of setting up of country’s second space rocket launching port by ISRO in Kulasekarapattinam, located in Tamil Nadu.

• As per the request of Department of Space, Government of Tamil Nadu has identified 961.66.90 hectares in Thoothukudi district.
• Land survey is completed for 431.87.74 hectares and preliminary notification has been issued. Survey work for balance area is in advance stage. At present, one Launch Pad is being proposed at the second launch port at Kulasekarapattinam,Tamil Nadu.

Way forward
Center’s policy decision of opening up of 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.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has commenced land acquisition for its second launchpad in Kulasekarapattinam, a town in the Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) district of Tamil Nadu.

  • ISRO’s first and only spaceport, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), is located in Sriharikota, about 100 km north of Chennai, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The organisation launches its PSLV and GSLV rockets from here.
  • The SDSC, setup in 1971, currently has two active launchpads. Its first launchpad was decommissioned once the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle programme ended in 1994.
  • The first of the two active pads mostly services the PSLV and the second, the GSLV, and which ISRO is currently modifying to accommodate crewed vehicle missions as part of its upcoming human spaceflight project, Gaganyaan.
  • A third launchpad in the same premises is also in the works.

The second spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam is expected to provide an important advantage to ISRO’s upcoming Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), a smaller counterpart of the PSLV that the organisation has developed to launch small-satellites more frequently.

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