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Three New Space Infrastructure Projects

Why is it in the news?

  • During a visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), PM Modi inaugurated three new facilities aimed at enhancing the launch capabilities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

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  • The development of these projects represents a significant investment in India’s space program, with a combined cost of approximately ₹1,800 crore.

About the Projects

 PSLV Integration Facility (PIF) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota:

  • Geared towards elevating the frequency of PSLV launches from 6 to 15 per year, thereby significantly enhancing India’s capacity for satellite deployment.
  • Additionally, it’s equipped to accommodate launches of SSLV and other small launch vehicles, supporting the burgeoning private space industry in India.

 Semi-cryogenics Integrated Engine and Stage Test facility at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri:

  • Designed to facilitate the development and testing of semi-cryogenic engines and stages, aimed at augmenting the payload capability of existing launch vehicles.
  • Equipped with sophisticated infrastructure including liquid Oxygen and kerosene supply systems capable of testing engines with thrust capacities of up to 200 tons.

 ‘Trisonic Wind Tunnel’ at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram:

  • Essential for conducting comprehensive aerodynamic testing of rockets and aircraft, ensuring optimal design and performance during atmospheric flight.
  • With its ability to generate controlled airflow ranging from subsonic to supersonic speeds up to four times the speed of sound (Mach number 4), it facilitates accurate characterization of aerodynamic properties.

Gaganyaan Mission Astronauts

  • In addition to inaugurating the space infrastructure projects, PM Modi announced the names of the four astronaut-designates for ISRO’s ambitious Gaganyaan spaceflight mission.
  • The astronaut team comprises highly trained individuals including Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan, Group Captain Ajith Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

·       Lead Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Department of Space.

·       Named in honour of Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai, widely regarded as the father of the Indian Space Programme.

 Virtual Launch Control Centre (VLCC)

·       Located at VSSC, it serves as a pivotal facility for conducting launch operations remotely.

·       Played a crucial role in the launch of the LVM3 vehicle carrying the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft.

·       Conducts system checks on the launch vehicle prior to the mission, ensuring its readiness for launch.

·       Enables remote monitoring and control of critical launch operations, enhancing operational efficiency and safety during space missions.

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