India’s premier space agency to build a slew of satellites

India’s premier space agency to build a slew of satellites

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India is developing a slew of satellites for uses ranging from navigation to tele-medicine, the chief of the national space agency said. Indian Space Research Organisation chairman Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan said the agency was experimenting with satellite navigation systems modelled on those used in Europe and the United States. India is also developing a satellite network devoted exclusively to education called EDUSAT. The agency is also seeking a foothold in tele-medicine. The idea is to bring the best of medical help from the city to rural areas. If everything goes well and there is a justification for a full-fledged satellite then we may go for a health satellite. Established in 1969, the ISRO launched its first satellite, Aryabhata, on April 19, 1975.

Kasturirangan, ISRO chief since 1994, said the agency hoped to establish a satellite-based information system for communication in disaster management. ISRO is working with various government departments… to develop a synergy between communications and remote sensing. The first operational Indian remote sensing satellite was launched in 1988 while the communications satellite INSAT took off in 1982, the first of six such satellites sent into orbit. Satellites devoted to astronomy and to study the physical characteristics of clouds are also on the drawing board. Kasturirangan denied that an under-construction Technology Experiment Satellite known as Cartosat-2 was a cover for developing a spy satellite. The agency was this week to review final preparations for a test flight of its geosynchronous launch vehicle, he said, which can carry a communication satellite weighing up to 2,000 kilogrammes (4,400 pounds). Current Indian polar satellite launch vehicles can blast off carrying 1,000 to 1,200-kilogramme units.