Soaring high with time: ISRO nails it in 2014

News Bharati English    31-Dec-2014

New Delhi, December 31: There is a lot to laud about the achievements that Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has gained in the year 2014. With the new government taking form in India, achievements of ISRO too starting marking significance in the entire world, drawing the greater world close to India.

Ranging from launching a wide variety of satellites to the insertion of first experimental flight of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV MK III, the Department of Space has witnessed a number of successful events during 2014 in its endeavour to put India on a ladder of achievements.

Starting from the successful launch of geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (gslv-d5) in the first month of the year i.e. on 5th January 2014 to the successful launch of the first experimental flight of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV MK III, the Department of Space has shown wonders.

The series of events that took place during the year are listed below:

Successful launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5)

Successful launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) with an indigenous cryogenic engine & stage on 5th January 2014 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The GSLV-D5 injected the GSAT-14 Communications Satellite, weighing 1982 kg, into a precise Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.

Successful launch of Indian navigational satellite irnss-1b, the second satellite in the Indian regional navigation satellite system (IRNSS)

Successful launch of Indian navigational satellite IRNSS-1B, the second satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) onboard PSLV-C24 on April 04, 2014 and IRNSS-1C, the third satellite of IRNSS onboard PSLV-C26 on October 16, 2014 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

SAARC Satellite:

India successfully launched five foreign satellites on board PSLV-C23 on June 30th, 2014 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. These foreign satellites are – (i) SPOT-7 (France), (ii) AISAT (Germany), (iii) NLS 7.1/CAN-X4 (Canada), (iv) NLS 7.2/CAN-X5 (Canada) and (v) VELOX-1 (Singapore).

Till that date, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched 40 satellites from 19 foreign countries, on commercial basis, under contract between respective foreign customer and Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO. The amount generated through the launch of these satellites is € 50.47 million and US $ 17.17 million.

The future projects envisages development of advanced launch vehicle systems, thematic earth observational satellites with improved resolution, high-power, high-throughput communication satellite, microwave multi-spectral remote sensing satellites, weather and climate studies, constellation of satellites for regional navigation, development of critical technologies for human spaceflight and satellites for space science and planetary exploration purposes.

PM Modi in his address at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on 30th June 2014 asked the Indian Space community to develop a SAARC satellite that provides a full range of applications and services to all our neighbours.

ISRO, through the Government of India, in consultation with the SAARC countries, needs to formulate a proposal for SAARC Satellite development programme to address the space applications and services needs of the SAARC countries.

Mars orbiter spacecraft successfully inserted into Mars orbit

India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft successfully entered into an orbit around planet Mars today morning (September 24, 2014) by firing its 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) along with eight smaller liquid engines. This Liquid Engines firing operation which began at 07:17:32 Hrs IST lasted for 1388.67 seconds which changed the velocity of the spacecraft by 1099 metre/sec.

With this operation, the spacecraft entered into an elliptical orbit around Mars. PM Modi was present at ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore to witness this important event. 

The events related to Mars Orbit Insertion progressed satisfactorily and the spacecraft performance was normal. The Spacecraft is now circling Mars in an orbit whose nearest point to Mars (periapsis) is at 421.7 km and farthest point (apoapsis) at 76,993.6 km. The inclination of orbit with respect to the equatorial plane of Mars is 150 degree, as intended. In this orbit, the spacecraft takes 72 hours 51 minutes 51 seconds to go round the Mars once.

Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was launched on-board India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV on November 05, 2013 into a parking orbit around the Earth. On December 01, 2013, following Trans Mars Injection (TMI) manoeuvre, the spacecraft escaped from orbiting the earth and followed a path that would allow it to encounter Mars on September 24, 2014.

With this successful Mars Orbit Insertion operation, ISRO became the fourth space agency to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars orbit. In the coming weeks, the spacecraft will be thoroughly tested in the Mars orbit and the systematic observation of that planet using its five scientific instruments would begin.

PSLV-c26 successfully launched India's third navigation satellite IRNSS-1c

ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C26, successfully launched IRNSS-1C, the third satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), in the early morning hours of October 16, 2014 at 0132 hours IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This was the twenty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

The 'XL'configuration of PSLV was used for this mission. Previously, the same configuration of the vehicle was successfully used six times. Minister of State (Space), Dr Jitendra Singh, witnessed the launch from the Mission Control Centre at SDSC, Sriharikota.

After the lift-off of PSLV-C26 with the ignition of the first stage, the important flight events, namely, stage and strap-on ignitions, heat-shield separation, stage and strap-on separations and satellite injection, took place as planned. After a flight of about 20 minutes 18 seconds, IRNSS-1C Satellite, weighing 1425 kg, was injected to an elliptical orbit of 282.56 km X 20,670 km, which is very close to the intended orbit.

After injection, the solar panels of IRNSS-1C were deployed automatically. ISRO's Master Control Facility (at Hassan, Karnataka) assumed the control of the satellite. In the coming days, four orbit manoeuvres will be conducted from Master Control Facility to position the satellite in the Geostationary Orbit at 83 deg East longitude.

IRNSS-1C is the third of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B, the first two satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on July 02, 2013 and April 04, 2014 respectively. Both IRNSS-1A and 1B are functioning satisfactorily from their designated geosynchronous orbital positions.

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users – and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorised users.

A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc., have been established in as many as 15 locations across the country.

In the coming months, the next satellite of this constellation, namely, IRNSS-1D, is scheduled to be launched by PSLV. The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015.

Other achievements of ISRO

The Government took a number of steps to popularise ISRO's prowess in the field of space launches. Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), from 1999 onwards - till date, had successfully launched 40 satellites of foreign customers from 19 countries, using ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Further, contracts have been finalized to launch 16 satellites from 6 countries in the coming years.

The ISRO, through its commercial arm Antrix, already launched one satellite for developing countries in Asia namely, Indonesia and contract has been finalized for launching two more satellites of Indonesia. One satellite was also launched for developing countries in Africa namely, Algeria.

The space projects undertaken by Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of ISRO, included:

(i) Establishment of ground stations for reception of data from Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites along with processing facilities at 20 locations outside India;

(ii) Building two contemporary communication satellites for European customers, and one communication satellite for Indian strategic user;

(iii) Providing tracking support for over 70 spacecraft missions of foreign customers;

(iv) Provisioning of satellite transponder capacity from Indian communication satellites for telecommunication, TV broadcasting, Direct-To-Home (DTH) services and VSAT applications;

(v) Launching of 40 foreign satellites on-board ISRO’s PSLV;

(vi) Establishment of ground terminals for tele-education, tele-medicine, disaster mitigation and Village Resource Centres; and

(vii) Consultancy services to domestic and foreign clients.

First experimental flight of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV MK-III successful

The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India’s next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted on December 18, 2014 morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage.

The mission began with the launch of GSLV Mk-III at 9:30 am IST from the Second Launch Pad as scheduled and about five and a half minutes later, carried its payload – the 3775 kg Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) – to the intended height of 126 km. Following this, CARE separated from the upper stage of GSLV Mk-III and re-entered the atmosphere and safely landed over Bay of Bengal with the help of its parachutes about 20 minutes 43 seconds after lift-off.

Two massive S-200 solid strap-on boosters, each carrying 207 tons of solid propellants, ignited at vehicle lift-off and after functioning normally, separated 153.5 seconds later.

L110 liquid stage ignited 120 seconds after lift-off, while S200s were still functioning, and carried forward for the next 204.6 seconds. CARE separated from the passive C25 cryogenic upper stage of GSLV Mk-III 330.8 seconds after lift-off and began its guided descent for atmospheric re-entry.

After the successful re-entry phase, CARE module’s parachutes opened, following which it gently landed over Andaman Sea about 1600 km from Sriharikota, thereby successfully concluding the GSLV Mk-III X/CARE mission.