Buoyed by the successful launch of all-weather radar imaging satellite Radar Imaging Satellite - 1 (RISAT-1), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today announced it would launch two Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLVs) and a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) this fiscal and the second Indian moon mission of Chandrayaan-2 in 2014 on board a GSLV.
"The launch of Chandrayaan-2 will be in 2014. We are working towards it. It would be on a GSLV, after we launch two GSLVs within an interval of six months," ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan told reporters here soon after the launch of RISAT-1.
TK Alex, Director, ISRO Satellite Centre said ISRO is working with Russian scientists on Chandrayaan-2. "We will discuss on site selection like where we have to land," he said, adding other related works are progressing well.
On launch of two GSLVs and a PSLV this fiscal, Mr Radhakrishnan said ISRO has studied the reasons for the failure in 2010. "Now GSLV will undergo an endurance test of 1,000 seconds and a vacuum test at a special facility at the Liquid Propellant System Centre at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu, where a Rs 300 crore facility for vacuum test has been made," he said.
"Once we get the green signal from the Ground Testing Team, we would be ready for the GSLV launch, he said. PS Veeraraghavan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, who was present, said ISRO will launch a low cost communication geo-stationary satellite GSAT-14 on board GSLV D5 in September/October 2012.
PSLV C-20 with Indo French satellite SARAL (Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa) and four small satellites would be launched in October, 2012 and PSLV C-21 with a commercial payload SPOT (Small Payload Orbit Transfer), a French satellite on earth observation this August, he said.
On GSLV Mark III, he said various subsystems of engines are being tested and it would take two years for it to be completed. "After all the tests, the experimental flight without cryogenic engines could be in 2012-'13," he said.
Mr Radhakrishnan also said ISRO had spent over Rs 20,000 crore in 29 missions in the Eleventh Five Year Plan against Rs 13,000 crore in 20 missions in the 10th five year plan. Much of the amount was spent on procuring six to eight Russian cryogenic engines and equipment for remote sensing programs, he said.
RISAT-1 cost Rs 488 crore, with Rs 110 crore spent on the launch vehicle and Rs 378 crore on the satellite, he said.
ISRO earns over Rs 45 crore from vending images through its satellites, he added. Alex said many colleges and universities are now keen on launching satellites made by their students through ISRO.
"Many colleges have approached us for sending their satellites made by their students. We have many more such proposals in the pipeline," he said.
Asked about the present status of Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques, launched during the last PSLV mission, he said, "The satellite is sending good images. They are giving details on the clouds and water content, etc. Earlier, we did not get so many details from the earlier satellites," he said.