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Nothing succeeds like success. And the success always motivate one to achieve even more better and higher results. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is definitely proceeding on this path having increased its payload capacity using its heavy rocket GSLV from the initial 1,500 kg to 2,274 kg as on date, and is is aiming to launch satellites with heavier weight in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).

And in this direction, ISRO has embarked on a mission to develop next gen rocket that would carry payloads up to 10 tonnes with private industry participation and the process of developing the new rocket has commenced. Buoyed by the success of Saturday’s GSLV-F14/INSAT-3DS mission that launched the thus far one of the heaviest payload which was precisely injected into the GTO using its heavy vehicle GSLV, the Space Agency is further aiming for greater heights for launching satellites with ten tonne capacity.

A project report in this regard for developing the next generation rocket, that would carry satellites up to ten tonnes, is ready. ISRO will be seeking government funds to achieve this objective to further enhance its prowess in the burgeoning and competitive space sector. According to ISRO Chairman S.Somanath, the team, entrusted with the task of preparing the project report for developing the next generation rocket that would carry ten tonne payload has submitted its report along with the estimated cost. He said as regards the next step, ISRO would be seeking government funds in this regard. “The project team of the Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) has submitted its report with the estimated cost for developing it.

The next step is to approach the government for funds and also establish the mechanism for developing it along with the participation from private industry. The rocket design is going on and it would be partially reusable and will have a carrying capacity of about 10 ton into the GTO. At present, ISRO’s heaviest rocket LVM3 (earlier named GSLV-MkIII) has a capacity of carrying satellites up to four tonnes and the next gen rocket would naturally more heavier to carry higher payloads.

Mr Somanath also said the prestigious India’s first manned mission Gaganyaan slated for next year (2025) was progressing right on target and two more abort missions will be carried out this year after the success of the first unmanned flight (TV-D1) test last year that demonstrated the crew escape system. The second test vehicle is also ready. Having said earlier that 2024 will be the year of Gaganyaan, Mr Somanath reiterated this point “The year 2024 will be the year of Gaganyaan for ISRO. We will beconducting various tests and other activities to realise the manned space mission in 2025.” Apart from two unmanned missions this year, other tests like helicopter drop test, launchpad abort tests and other tests are in the offing ahead of the next year’s maiden human flight mission. He also said ISRO is planning for the next moon mission Chandryaan-4 that plans to achieve something unique which no nation has attempted or achieved so far.

To a question on the next moon mission, Mr Somanath said it has to achieve something new that was not done by others earlier…probably bringing a lunar sample back using a robot. A complex and high end technology rocket is being developed with novel design for this purpose. The government also has to sanction the needed funds for the project, he added. On the Indo-US collaboration earth observation satellite NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite that would be launched later this year using the GSLV, he categorically said that it will not be used for surveillance. “NISAR is meant only for earth observation and focus will be on earth as a system”, he added.