ISRO May Outpace NASA in Next Decade


New Delhi: Highlighting a growing Indian superiority in science and technology a reports suggested that India’s premier space agency ISRO may surpass its American counterpart NASA in the next 10 years.

An article in Defence News will explained various factors pointing at ISRO becoming a world leader in Space launch and exploration technology leaving the best of the best behind.

ndia’s GDP is growing at its fastest pace and so is ISRO’s Year-on-Year budgetary allocation. The budget for India’s hi-tech space programme for the financial year 2015-16 has been set at 73.9 billion rupees (US $1.2 billion) compared to US $17.5 billion that America will spend on NASA this year. However, ISRO typically spends significantly less money than what is allocated in any given budget year. Last year in 2014-15 ISRO spent just 58 billion rupees of the 72 billion rupee allocation and this year too they will fall short of utilizing the entire 73.9 billion rupees.

Factor No. 1 ::
VENUS Exploration Orbiter >>
From all indicators, the next stop for Indian Space Scientists will be planet Venus and the mission could be launched in the next 4 years by 2019.
The rocket containing the orbiter could be either be an advance version of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL) or the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-MK-III) powered with a proven, Made in India Cryogenic Engine.
The space craft that could be sent to Venus could be similar to the radar imaging satellite RISAT-1 which India put in orbit around Earth. The radar on the satellite will be able to penetrate the thick clouds on Venus’s atmosphere.
The primary role of the Venus Mission would be to study its atmosphere and examine the origin and evolution of other planets.

Factor No. 2 ::
Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator >>
As a first step towards realizing affordable and low cost space launch techniques, ISRO will soon test a Two-State-To-Orbit (TSTO) fully Reusable Launch Vehicle. A series of technology demonstration missiles have been conceived. For this purpose, ISRO has already configured a Winged-Reusable Launch Vehicle.
The RLV-TD will act as a flying test bed to emulate various technologies like a hypersonic flight, autonomous landing, powered cruise flight and hypersonic flight using air-breathing scramjet propulsion engines.

Factor No. 3 ::
GSLV-MK-III rockets for Human Space Flight >>
ISRO has already developed and launched the next-generation GSLV called GSLV Mark III – which is capable of launching ultra-heavy satellites and even humans in capsules weighing 5000 kilos. In December 2014, India and the world witnessed the successful launch of GSLV-MK-III which paved the way for the development of much more powerful rockets. The GSLV Mark 3 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on the country’s southern coast and carried a three ton payload, including its “Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE)” beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. It ejected the crew unit 78 miles above the Earth and parachuted into the sea 20 minutes later. It was recovered 111 miles from the Andaman Islands.

ISRO officials have already stated that once the GSLV-MK-III has been tamed, the country will be ready for Human Space Flights which could eventually lead to the development of an Indian Space Station.

Factor No. 4 ::
ADITYA – Sun Space Mission >>
By the year 2017, ISRO is slated to launch its first Mission to the Sun. Mission code name is ‘ADITYA’. Budgeted at Rs. 49 crore, Aditya-1 will be the first satellite specifically designed to study the Sun’s Corona. The satellite will help to determine why solar flares and solar winds disturb the communication network and electronics on Earth.
Initial technical studies have established that a PSLV-XL launcher would be able to place a satellite at a Halo Orbit around L1 point.
Five Instruments have been short-listed for the Sun Mission >>
1. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph
2. Solar Ultraviolet Image Telescope
3. Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment
4. Solar Low Energy X-Ray Spectrometer
5. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-Ray Spectrometer
more could be added…

What is a HALO Orbit ?
A halo orbit is a periodic, three-dimensional orbit near the L1 L2 or L3 Lagrange points in the three-body problem of orbital mechanics. Although a spacecraft in a halo orbit moves in a circular path around the Lagrange point, it does not technically orbit the actual Lagrange point, because the Lagrange point is just an equilibrium point with no gravitational pull, but travels in a closed, repeating path near the Lagrange point. Halo orbits are the result of a complicated interaction between the gravitational pull of the two planetary bodies and the coriolis and centrifugal accelerations on a spacecraft. Halo orbits exist in many three-body systems, such as the Sun–Earth system and the Earth–Moon system. Continuous “families” of both Northern and Southern halo orbits exist at each Lagrange point. Because halo orbits tend to be unstable, station keeping is required to keep a satellite on the orbit.
Source :: Wikipedia

Factor No. 5 ::
Chandrayan II Moon Mission >>
After the scorching success of India’s first Moon Mission ‘Chandrayan-I’ that made India the first country in the world to discover Water on Moon, ISRO is planning another Mission to the Moon. Only this time it will actually design and develop a solar-powered rover robot that will not only soft-land on the moon but will also travel distances and conduct experiments on the surface of the Moon.
The mission would carry five instruments on the orbiter. Three of them are new, while two others are improved versions of those flown on Chandrayaan-1 orbiter.
The rover’s mass will be about 30–100 kg and will operate on solar power. The rover will move on wheels on the lunar surface, pick up samples of soil or rocks, perform on-site chemical analysis and send the data to the orbiter above, which will relay it to the Earth station.
You never know what ISRO might discover on the second Mission to the MOON that will again make India create new world scientific records.

Conclusion ::
A space agency (ISRO) with a budget so tiny is doing wonders for a country that aspires to be not only an economic or a military Super Power but also a leader in the World of Space Science. India’s GDP is expected to double from the current $ 2 trillion to $4 trillion in the next 3 1/2 to 4 years and ISRO’s budgetary allocation will also double in that period. ISRO’s leadership in low-cost space science innovation will surely give NASA a run for its bloated multi-billion dollar budget.
The day is not far when the world will get use to the term ‘Satellite-Launch-Outsourcing’ to India and the leading space agencies of the world will be put to shame by a third-world-country.

ISRO has signed commercial agreements for launching 28 satellites of six countries — Algeria, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore and the US during 2015-17 and until now, 45 satellites from 19 countries have been commercially launched by ISRO.
The lining up of countries including AMERICA to launch their satellites with India’s Space Agency is itself a matter of great national pride and shows a clear path of where ISRO is heading.