India: India plans to put five remote- sensing (RS) satellites into orbit in the first half of next month after fixing a rocket anomaly that forced it to delay launches in May. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will carry India’s Cartosat-2B, Algeria’s ALSAT-2A and two small satellites from the University of Toronto, P.S. Veeraraghavan, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said. The fifth unit will be a one-kilogram satellite built by Indian students, he said.
The Space Centre, based in Thiruvananthapuram, has corrected the anomaly, which was in the second stage of the rocket. The delay had disrupted India’s challenge to China, Japan, and South Korea as it competes for commercial- satellite launches.
In April, India also failed in its bid to join a group of five nations using their own rocket technology to launch large satellites into higher orbits when scientists lost control of the 50-meter (164 feet) GSLV-D3 spacecraft minutes after blastoff. “The reasons for the failure are still being analysed and we expect a report in a month’s time,” Veeraraghavan said.
India is planning a USD 2.5 billion unmanned mission to space by 2015 and is slated to launch a second unmanned moon craft Chandrayaan II at a cost of USD 87.5 million before March 2013. The country’s satellite program consists of 21 orbiters, of which 11 are currently in service.
Source: Business Week