Emerging as a global competitive provider for satellite launches, ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation has almost 30 orders at hand from different countries for satellite launches which are scheduled to be completed in next two to three years. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said tonight that the organisation is working on increasing its capabilities on critical technologies.
"We have (orders of) almost 30 odd satellites from about 7-8 countries. We have to put them into orbit in next two-three years and we are working on it," he said here. "We are working on various projects and technologies. Yesterday, we had put the 57th international satellite into orbit and many more launches will be there in the next couple of years," he said. Achieving a new milestone, ISRO successfully launched six Singaporean satellites through Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C29 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh yesterday.
The ISRO Chairman was in the city to attend a national symposium on 'Geomatics for Digital India' organised by the Indian Society of Geomatics (ISG) and the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (ISRS) at J K Lakshmipat University here. Talking about the space programmes, Kumar said a study team is going through various options to recommend the next space mission. "We have a study team which is going through various options such as in what time frame we can do the next mission... whether it should be the Mars Mission-2 or an asteroid mission."
"Once they come up with their recommendations, then it will be decided," the ISRO Chairman said, adding that the preparations for Chandrayaan Mission-2 which will carry Lander and Rover are going on. The country's second mission to the Moon -- Chandrayaan-2 -- is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 Mission and consists of an Orbiter, Lander and Rover configuration. Kumar also stated that ISRO was planning to launch next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III with indigenous cryogenic upper stage technology by December 2016.
When asked about manned space programmes, he said it was for the government to take a decision. "Manned programme will be done only after the government gives permission. We have not got any clearance so far." "However, ISRO is working on various projects and critical technologies like crew module, creating an environment inside the crew module for people inside to survive and also space suit. "Some activities are going on but finally, the government has to make up its mind and then tell whether we should take up manned mission or not," Kumar said.