High-tech third launch pad in Sriharikota soon

 With more than 50 space missions planned for the next five years, Isro is working to set up a high-tech third launch pad very soon at its space centre in Sriharikota.

"The study has been completed and we have submitted our report to the Government of India. It is in the review process", M Y S Prasad, Director Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) said.

Stating that the third launch pad will be constructed only at SDSC, he said it would increase the number of satellites launched from the Centre.

"In addition, the third launch pad will be ideal for GSLV-MK-III launch vehicle, which would carry heavy pay loads", Prasad said.

Isro sources here said the third launch pad and assembly complex is expected to come up in three square kilometres at a cost of about Rs 500 crore. At present Isro has two launch pads with rocket assembly centres in SDSC complex.

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

An official seeking anonymity said the new launch pad would be designed for launching Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk-III), carrying heavier satellites, as well as reusable launch vehicle, India's own version of a space shuttle.

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