“India Paves the Way for a Revolutionary Spaceport, Focused on Small-Scale Launches”

It will be second after the space agency’s existing Satish Dhawan Space Centre, founded in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota in 1971, with two launch pads. The spaceport will be dedicated to launching smaller launch vehicles and will be ready in about two years, ISRO chairman S Somanath said on the sidelines of the event in Tamil Nadu. Spread over 2,350 acres, the Kulasekharapatnam spaceport will help save fuel for small rocket launches as the port can launch rockets directly south over the Indian Ocean without requiring crossing landmasses. “This facility will play an instrumental role in accommodating the increasing launch frequency of both ISRO and the growing private space industry in the coming years. Bhatt, director general of the Indian Space Association.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been granted permission to build a new spaceport in Tamil Nadu, which aims to facilitate private companies in launching small rockets into space with decreased fuel consumption.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the second spaceport, situated on an island named Kulasekharapatnam off the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It will be the second spaceport for the Indian Space Agency, following the Satish Dhawan Space Centre founded in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota in 1971, equipped with two launch pads.

The spaceport will be dedicated to launching smaller launch vehicles and is expected to be operational in approximately two years,” said ISRO chairman S Somanath during the event in Tamil Nadu.

Smaller rockets have proven to be a more economical and reliable option for accessing space, such as Rocket Lab’s Electron, which is capable of carrying payloads without having to share the ride with other payloads.

Although the new spaceport is not yet ready for private launches, ISRO launched its two-stage sounding rocket Rohini (RH – 200) from Kulasekharapatnam on Wednesday evening (local time) using a mobile launch pad to commemorate the development.

Sprawling over 2,350 acres, the Kulasekharapatnam spaceport is built strategically to save fuel for small rocket launches, as it will allow rockets to launch directly south over the Indian Ocean without the need to cross over landmasses. This is in contrast to the existing launch site at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, where more fuel is required for launching into a polar orbit, as rockets must follow a curved path to the south to avoid Sri Lanka’s landmass.

The new spaceport is currently under development with an investment of $119 million (986 crores Indian rupees) and has the capacity to conduct 24 launches per year using a mobile launch structure.

  • India has been actively expanding its presence in space endeavors in recent years
  • The country is home to around 190 space tech startups that provide various solutions globally
  • ISRO is consistently working to elevate India’s position in the global space ecosystem
  • One of ISRO’s notable achievements last year was successfully landing a spacecraft on the moon’s south pole and launching the Aditya-L1 to observe the sun’s upper atmosphere
  • ISRO also teamed up with NASA to join the Artemis Accords and collaborate on a joint mission to the International Space Station

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Modi announced four astronaut-elects, which include Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla, for the country’s first human spacecraft mission, Gaganyaan, scheduled for 2025. This three-day mission will pave the way for India’s first astronaut to land on the moon in 2040.

India introduced its space policy last year, outlining guidelines for private participation in space activities. The country has also recently updated its foreign direct investment policy, increasing the limits for overseas investments in the space sector.

“This facility will play a vital role in accommodating the increasing frequency of launches by both ISRO and the growing private space industry in the years to come. We believe that India’s strategic investment in additional spaceports will position the nation to significantly enhance its launch service capabilities, foster greater international collaboration, and solidify its status as a global space power,” said A.K. Bhatt, director general of the Indian Space Association.

Avatar photo
Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

Articles: 850

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *