India’s Polar Satellite
Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has the capability of launching 1700 kg to Sun
Synchronous Polar Orbit (600 km) and has proven its versatility in
launching multi-satellite/multi-orbit missions as well as lunar
(Chandrayaan-1) and interplanetary missions (Mars Orbiter Mission). As
on date, PSLV has completed 38 consecutive successful missions, during
which it has launched 46 Indian satellites (weighing ~ 43.2 tonnes) and
180 foreign satellites (weighing ~ 6.3 tonnes). It has already
established itself as a preferred launch vehicle, in its class, in the
global market for launch services, especially for smaller satellites.
The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), with indigenous
cryogenic upper stage, has the capability to launch satellites up to 2.2
tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). GSLV has demonstrated its
reliability through three consecutive successful missions in the past
The maximum GTO capability of other space launch agencies to launch
satellites are: European Space Agency (ESA): 10.5 tonnes, USA: 13.8
tonnes, Russia: 6.5 tonnes, China: 14 tonnes and Japan: 8 tonnes.
In order to enhance the capability, ISRO has developed the next
generation launch vehicle i.e. GSLV MkIII with indigenous high thrust
cryogenic stage, to launch 4 tonne class of communication satellites to
GTO and its first developmental flight is scheduled to take place in the
second quarter of 2017. The development of Semicryogenic engine has also
been undertaken to further enhance the GTO payload capability of GSLV
MkIII to 6 tonnes.
ISRO has proved the level of efficiency in the area of space science
through – (i) planning, development & execution of Lunar mission
‘Chandrayaan-1’ and High resolution imaging & Systematic topographic
mapping of the Moon; (ii) successful insertion of Mars Orbiter Mission
(MOM) around the planet Mars in very first attempt, achieving all
planned objectives and continuing the operations of MOM beyond its
designed mission life of 6 months; (iii) placing India’s first
observatory in space ‘Astrosat’, which enables simultaneous
multi-wavelength observations (Ultraviolet to X-Ray) to study Stars and
Galaxies; (iv) indigenous development & validation of several new
technologies viz. autonomy, deep space communication, scientific
instruments in space science missions.
Future missions in space science includes (i) second mission to Moon
‘Chandrayaan-2’, consisting of an indigenous Orbiter, Lander & Rover and
(ii) mission for solar studies ‘Aditya-L1’ to study the solar corona in
The capability to set up a space station needs capability of lifting
heavy payloads into space. While there is no specific plan for space
station, ISRO is working towards this capability through launch vehicles
using cryogenic and semi-cryogenic engines.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State
(Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS
PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space,
Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.