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Third launch pad to wait till India finalises its long-term space plans'

Thu, Mar 19, 2015, 03:35 PM
Chennai, March 19, 2015: Even though the Indian space agency has decided to locate its third launch pad with facilities for a human space mission at its existing rocket port, the construction will happen only after the agency finalises its long-term plans, a top official said.

"Our immediate focus is on completing the second vehicle (rocket) assembly. We can increase the rocket launch frequency after that. The decision to construct the third launch pad will be taken after finalising our long-term action plan," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman A.S.Kiran Kumar told IANS.

At present ISRO has two rockets - GSLV-MkII and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) - and two launch pads at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here.

Queried about the need for a stand-by launch facility for ISRO's heaviest rocket currently under development - the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-MkIII) - Kumar said: "The initial two GSLV-MkIII rockets will be flown using the second launch pad."

The GSLV-MkIII rocket is expected to be flight-ready in December 2016.

In a written reply to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha recently, Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said ISRO proposes to set up the third launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota.

He said the third launch pad is intended to support increased launch frequency, launching requirements of future advanced launch vehicles and also serve as a redundant launch pad for the GSLV-MkIII class of rockets.

Detailed studies on possible concepts/options and preliminary configuration have been carried out, he said.
Agency: IANS

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