PM Modi to lay foundation for ISRO’s second spaceport on February 28

Tamil Nadu government has completed land acquisition for the ambitious project which will be built at a cost of Rs 950 crore
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 14:07 IST

Chennai: In two years’ time, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will get a second spaceport for launching small satellites in Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district which will prove to be geographically advantageous for the country. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for construction of the new facility on February 28 which will come up in an area of 2,233 acres in Padukkapathu, Pallakurichi, and Mathavankurichi villages in Kulasekarapattinam and Sathankulam taluks of the district. 

The state government has completed land acquisition for the ambitious project which will be built at a cost of Rs 950 crore. The foundation ceremony comes close on the heels of the Centre allowing 100 per cent FDI in the space sector. 

To take advantage of the new facility and to create an ecosystem for the space industry in the region, the Tamil Nadu government is already working on setting up a Space Industrial and Propellants Park spread over an area of 2,000 acres in the district. 

The second spaceport in Kulasekarapattinam, a town revered for its Dussehra celebrations, will function in addition to the existing spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The new facility will serve as a dedicated space for launching Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV) with the Union Government opening the doors for the private sector in space. 

ISRO scientists said the Kulasekarapattinam spaceport will help save fuel as satellites launched from here can directly travel towards south unlike those launched from Sriharikota which fly in the southeast direction after liftoff from the Sathish Dhawan Space Centre to avoid flying over Sri Lanka and takes a sharp manoeuvre towards the South Pole. 

ISRO chief S Somanath had in January said that the new spaceport will give the space agency higher payload capability and enable lower turnaround time for the launches. 

With the global small satellite market projected to grow at a rapid pace across the globe, the state government will launch the Space Industrial and Propellants Park to attract space-related manufacturing and research and development (R&D) firms.

Accounting firm KPMG undertook a detailed study on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) to explore the feasibility for setting up the new park. 

The new spaceport and the proposed Space park are expected to provide job opportunities to locals and infuse development in and around the coastal town. 

(Published 22 February 2024, 14:07 IST)

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