India lines up three PSLV launches this year

India lines up three PSLV launches this year

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.