ISRO To Resume Satellite Launches By December


New Delhi: India will resume launching satellites in November or December, unfazed by the failure of its rocket in deploying a spare navigation satellite in the Earth’s lower orbit on August 31, said a top official on Friday. “We will resume the launches by November or December, with one of the remote sensing satellites though we are yet to finalise with which,” said A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The state-run space agency will schedule its next launch mission after a committee studying the cause of the failure submits its report soon.

Echoing the chairman, Dr K Sivan, director of Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) told TOI, “We will launch either Cartosat-2 series remote sensing satellite or the replacement satellite IRNSS-1I by November or December. We are yet to finalise which of the two satellites will be launched first.”

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Dr Sivan said the probe committee was “supposed to submit the report by 10th of this month”. “But the committee wants some more time as it wants to review some more results (flight data) before coming to any conclusion. We are expecting the report next week,” he said

When asked if the IRNSS-1H mission was insured, a source in Isro told TOI, “The missions are launched from the government’s money. As these (rockets and satellites) are government properties, they are not insured.”

On August 31, Isro’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C39) could not deliver the 1.4-tonne IRNSS-1H in the geo-synchronous orbit as its heat shield did not get separated minutes after the rocket’s lift-off from the Sriharikota launchpad. The satellite, which got stuck in the heat shield, is currently moving in outer space and is expected to enter the earth’s atmosphere within two months and some parts of it are likely to fall in the Pacific Ocean.