Isro infrastructure to get a big boost

With more than 50 missions in the queue during the next five years, country’s premier space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has planned to set up a high-tech third launch pad before 2016.”

“We require one more launch pad to carry heavy payloads and it will happen two years from know,” Isro chairman K Radhakrishnan said.

Sources said Isro has already got the Centre’s nod to establish a high-tech rocket assembly centre and to set up the third launch pad in Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Both are coming up in 3 sq km at a cost of about Rs 500 crore. At present, Isro has two launch pads with rocket assembly centre in SDSC complex.

“The Department of Space has recently issued sanction orders to first setup a new high-tech vehicle assembly centre. We have identified the site in SDSC complex itself. The preliminary activities, including designing work, have started,” a senior scientist from Isro told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity.

He said the Centre has given its nod to construct a new launch pad and the orders will be obtained very soon.

According to him, the launch pad and vehicle assembly complex, which will come up in an area of about 3 sq km, is bigger than the existing two launch pads.

The launch complex will provide complete support for vehicle assembly, fueling, checking and launch operations. Apart from these, it will have facilities for launching sounding rockets meant for studying the earth’s atmosphere.

The new launch pad, the official said, is also designed for launching Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III) carrying heavier satellites as also by the reusable launch vehicle, India’s own version of a space shuttle.

It would include construction of new mobile pedestals, umbilical towers, emergency exits, ground escape system, crew ingress and egress systems, safety bunkers, material handling equipment and related electrical systems.

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