The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has added yet another feather to its cap when it successfully launched its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MK-II to place a weather communication satellite in the desired orbit. India has become one of the few countries with such an ability. ISRO now has the capability to place satellites weighing up to two tonnes in the geostationary orbit where communication satellites are parked.
What makes this launch all the more significant is ISRO’s mastery of the cryogenic engine usage. The indigenously developed system is quite complex and ISRO used every failure as a stepping stone to reach this stage. And, in keeping with its motto of excellence, it has set its sights on developing another engine, the C-25, which would be twice as powerful as the present one. The GSLV-MK-III is also scheduled for launch in December. The demand for launching communication satellites has been increasing as more and more countries and even institutions like universities want their own satellites in orbit. But there are not enough countries or companies which can undertake such a task. In other words, India is capable of providing competitive communication satellite launching facilities. Globally, the size of the satellite business is about $330 billion, of which launch services account for $5 billion. Thanks to its war horse, the PSLV, ISRO is already very much in the game, offering launch services at an affordable price tag.
With the GSLV also in its armoury, the space organisation has taken a giant leap forward and is well placed both commercially and in space exploration. ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar has revealed that several missions, including one to the Venus and the moon (Chandrayaan-II), are in the offing. With the organisation developing a space shuttle too, this is indeed an exciting time not only for ISRO and its brilliant scientists but also the country.