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GSAT-6A located, hope to re-establish communication link: ISRO chairman

Isro chairman K Sivan speaks about the Chandrayaan II mission, first solar mission Adiyta L1 and his plans for India’s space organisation.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 07:55 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Malavika Vyawahare
Hindustan Times
ISRO,K Sivan,ISRO chairman
Isro chairman K Sivan says the space organisation’s main mission is to serve people.and the benefits from its missions should reach the common people especially in rural and remote places.(PTI File)

This year India will be aiming for the moon, again, and the next year aiming for the sun for the first time. The Chandrayaan II mission is set for an October-November launch and the Aditya L1 is scheduled for 2019. Malavika Vyawahare caught up with Isro chairman, K Sivan to talk about his plans for Isro and the two key missions.

What is your vision for Isro?

Isro’s main mission is to serve people. We need to do deeper penetration of space based applications. The benefits should reach the common people especially in rural and remote places.

For example, in navigation we can make use of NavIC for advanced applications. We should have high bandwidth communications and very high resolution remote sensing satellites. Correspondingly we need advancements in launch vehicles too so that they can carry bigger and heavier satellites using lesser propellent so higher efficiency.

What is the status of IRNSS 1I?

We have completed the orbit raising manoeuvres. We are doing In-Orbit testing, it will basically calibrate the payload and functions and ensure that everything is alright. The satellite will be in operational mode by first week of May.

Is there any news about the GSAT 6A?

The launch was successful. The most tricky complex phase is the launch vehicle phase. Subsequently the satellite will take its own course, even if there are some issues we have time to correct them. Whereas the launch vehicle is a one time affair, if there is some problem it is gone.

For low earth orbit satellites the launch vehicle will inject the satellite into the correct orbit. In a case like the GSAT-6A the launch vehicle will place satellite into an orbit that is convenient for the vehicle, then satellites will use its own systems to take it further.

For GSAT-6A this problem happened during orbit raising manoeuvres when we lost communication. But we have located the satellite, we are hoping to re-establish the communication link.

What is the latest on the Chandrayaan II?

We are now planning a launch in October or November. It has shifted mainly because our national experts are asking us to carry out more tests.

In other missions like Cartosat, every day we have a chance to launch. Whereas Chandrayaan II we want to go to the moon only when it faces the sun because of the power generation requirement. We have only one day chance every month. In certain months it is not possible because alot of eclipse will be there, the sunlight will not be full. That is why if we miss one target the next opportunity comes much later. That is what happened in April.

Is the solar mission on track? Why is it important?

The satellite is being prepared. We are planning for a 2019 launch. People may say it is not important but I would say it is very important because in recent times globally there is an interest toward heliophysics.

Solar activity is slightly different from what we have been predicting. What happened in the solar side will impact life on earth. What is happening is that the solar activity and our prediction is not matching. That means that we need to understand more about the sun to get better predictions.

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 07:55 IST