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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has a packed schedule for the remainder of 2024, according to agency chief S. Somanath. Speaking at the third Annual India Space Congress, Somanath outlined plans for three Gaganyaan test flights and the launch of the NISAR satellite.

The launch of NISAR, a collaborative mission between ISRO and NASA, has been pushed back due to a minor issue with a deployable antenna. The antenna, supplied by a US company, requires modifications and is expected to return to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory by July 10th. Once integrated back into the satellite and cleared by testing, NISAR will be ready for launch, though a specific date wasn’t provided. The mission was originally slated for March 2024.

ISRO is also targeting an August launch for the GSAT-N2 satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. This satellite aims to improve broadband services and in-flight connectivity across India with its high-throughput capabilities.

Somanath confirmed that ISRO is committed to conducting three Gaganyaan test flights before the end of the year. These flights are crucial steps towards India’s first human spaceflight mission.

With ambitious goals for Gaganyaan testing, the NISAR launch, and the deployment of GSAT-N2, ISRO has a busy few months ahead. Somanath acknowledged the challenges but expressed confidence in the agency’s ability to achieve its objectives.