Isro draws up ambitious plan for 2024, says will launch at least 12 missions | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Isro draws up ambitious plan for 2024, says will launch at least 12 missions

Jan 01, 2024 08:07 PM IST

Isro conducted a record seven missions in 2023 including the historic landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar south pole, and the launch of India’s first sun observatory, Aditya-L1

The Indian Space Research Organisation will carry out at least 12 launches this year, surpassing previous records, chairman S Somanath said on Monday.

Sriharikota: ISRO's PSLV-C58 carrying an X-ray polarimeter satellite and 10 other satellite lifts off from the spaceposrt of Sriharikota, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_01_2024_000019B) (PTI/VIA @isro)
Sriharikota: ISRO's PSLV-C58 carrying an X-ray polarimeter satellite and 10 other satellite lifts off from the spaceposrt of Sriharikota, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI01_01_2024_000019B) (PTI/VIA @isro)

“We are planning at least 12 missions for 2024. It may also go up depending on our ability to produce the hardware and complete testing,” S Somanath said at a media briefing after the successful launch of India’s first polarimetry mission, the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, a space observatory that will study black holes and other celestial objects.

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In 2023, the space agency conducted a record seven missions, including the historic landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar south pole, and the launch of India’s first sun observatory, Aditya-L1, which is expected to reach its destination on January 6.

Also Read: Why Chandrayaan module return is key for future missions

Besides the launches, the space agency also conducted key technology demonstrations that paved the way for future missions for the Gaganyaan spacecraft and a reusable launch vehicle.

This year will be the “year for Gaganyaan”, Somanath said. “2024 is going to be a year to prepare for Gaganyaan. We are targeting the launch for 2025, but this year we will be conducting at least two more rounds of tests before gearing up for the final mission,” he said.

The Gaganyaan, India’s first human space flight mission, will carry a crew of three astronauts to an orbit 400km above the earth’s surface for a three-day mission and bring them back safely. Leading up to the actual manned mission, the space agency will conduct several tests to ensure all systems are safe.

The agency will also carry out a test flight with a humanoid robot, dubbed Vyomitra, and an unmanned flight before the manned Gaganyaan mission, possibly scheduled for 2025.

The prerequisites for the Gaganyaan mission include the development of many critical technologies, including a human-rated launch vehicle for carrying the crew safely to space and back, a life support system to provide an earth-like environment and an emergency escape system.

On February 7 last year, Isro with the Indian Navy carried out recovery trials of the crew module in Kochi in Kerala. The trials were part of preparations for crew module recovery operations for the Gaganyaan mission. Isro also tested the Gaganyaan service module propulsion system on July 19 at its propulsion complex in Odisha’s Mahendragiri.

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