Following are the salient features of the initiatives taken by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences during the year 2013:
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) submitted a plan for 58 space missions to be undertaken as a part of 12th Five Year Plan, 2012-17.Accordingly, a Plan outlay of Rs. 39,750 crore in 12th Five Year Plan period was provisionally earmarked under the Plan budget for Space Programme. During the current year 2012-13, a sum of Rs. 5,615 crore had been allocated.
V. Narayansami Inaugurates ISRO Navigation Centre near Bengaluru
The ISRO Navigation Centre (INC), established at Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) complex at Byalalu, about 40 km from Bangalore, was inaugurated on May 28, 201) by Mr. V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. INC is an important element of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), an independent navigation satellite system being developed by India.
GSAT-15 communication satellite and launch services
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to the proposal for the GSAT-15 communication satellite project along with procurement of launch services and insurance on 28 June 2013.
The building of the GSAT-15 is part of the Indian Research Organisation’s (ISRO`s) efforts towards in-orbit spare capacity to meet contingency and to protect the services of existing users. The satellite will provide required redundant capacity, will augment capacity in the Ku band, and shall provide in-orbit redundant requirement of safety of life operations benefitting civil aviation services in the country. Nine operational INSAT/GSAT satellites are currently providing different frequency bands to nearly 195 transponders. The GSAT-15 satellite will cover the entire Indian mainland. All heritage proven bus systems will be used to build the satellite in 18 months. The satellite will be similar to the GSAT-8.
The total cost involved in the project is Rs.859.5 crore including launch services.
GSAT-16 communication satellite and launch services
The Union Cabinet also on 28 June 2013 gave its approval to the proposal for the GSAT-16 communication satellite project along with procurement of launch services and insurance.
The project will meet contingency requirements, protect services of existing users and will augment and support existing telecommunication, television, VSAT and other satellite based services in the country. Nine operational INSAT/GSAT satellites are currently providing different frequency bands to nearly 195 transponders. All heritage proven bus systems will be used to build the satellite in 24 months. The satellite shall be similar to the GSAT-10.
The total cost involved in the project is Rs.865.50 crore including launch services.
PROF. Satish Dhawan Endowed Fellowship Established at California Institute of Technology
The Department of Space/Indian Space Research Organisation established an endowed fellowship at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology, California, USA. This fellowship is established in honor of Prof. Satish Dhawan, who was the former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation during its formative period 1972-1984.
The fellowship was aimed to provide an excellent opportunity every year starting from the winter session of the academic year 2013-14 to one meritorious graduating student from the Aerospace Department of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram to be sponsored by the Department of Space, to pursue Masters in Aerospace Engineering at Caltech.
India’s Advanced Weather Satellite INSAT-3d Successfully Launched
India’s Weather Satellite INSAT-3D, carrying advanced weather monitoring payloads, was today launched successfully by Ariane-5 (VA214) launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana on 26 July, 2013. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ,after a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane-5 launchvehicle lifted off right on schedule at the opening of the launch windowat 01:24 hours IST today. After a flight of 32 minutes and 48 seconds,INSAT-3D was placed in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO),very close to the intended one.
ISRO Successfully Launched India’s First Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1A
ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C22, was successfully launched IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), in the early morning hours of 2nd July, 2013 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. This is the twenty third consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The ‘XL’ configuration of PSLV was used for the mission. Previously, the same configuration of the vehicle was used thrice to launch Chandrayaan-1, GSAT-12 and RISAT-1 satellites.
India’s Advanced Communication Satellite GSAT-7 Launched Successfully
India’s advanced multi-band communication satellite, GSAT-7, was successfully been launched at 0200 hrs on August 30, 2013) by the Ariane-5 launch vehicle of Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana. Ariane-5 precisely placed GSAT-7 into the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) after a flight of 34 minutes 25 seconds duration
INSAT-3D Satellite Successfully Placed in Geosynchronous Orbit
India’s advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D, launched in the early hours of July 26, 2013 from Kourou, French Guyana, was successfully placed in Geosynchronous orbit after three orbit raising manoeuvres commanded from ISRO`s Master Control Facility at Hassan. On 1st August 2013.
GSAT-7 Transponders Successfully Switched on
All the 11 communication transponders (operating in UHF, S, C and Ku-bands) of India`s advanced multiband communication satellite GSAT-7 were successfully switched on and their performance was found to be normal. GSAT-7 is positioned at its designated orbital slot of 74 deg East longitude in the geostationary orbit and In Orbit Testing (IOT) of the 11 transponders were in progress.
GSAT-7 Satellite Placed in Geosynchronous Orbit
India’s advanced multi-band communication satellite GSAT-7, launched from Kourou, French Guiana in the early hours of August 30, 2013, was successfully placed in the Geosynchronous Orbit with an altitude of about 36,000 km above Earth’s surface on September 3, 2013 morning, after successfully completing the last of the three orbit-raising manoeuvres commanded from ISRO`s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan.
Realization of Second Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR)
The Union Cabinet on 12 September 2013 approved for realization of Second Vehicle Assembly Building at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR) at an estimated cost of Rs. 363.95 crore with a foreign exchange component of Rs. 7 crore.
The Second Vehicle Assembly Building is to provide enhanced launch frequency of PSLV and GSLV by facilitating parallel integration operations. It will also provide redundancy to existing Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for integration of GSLV MK-III and also as a prime integration facility for third launch pad and future general launch vehicles.
Successful Launching of Mars Orbitor Mission
ISRO successfully launched its Mars Orbitor Mission on 5th November 2013 from its Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.