The father of the Indian Space Programme, Vikram Sarabhai, had articulated the vision of ISRO back in 1969: “There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the Moon or the planets or manned space-flight. But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
Drawing from the vision since then, space technology in India has reached new heights and set milestones time and again. It’s all out there for the world to see, whether the Indian space agency is the 4th in the world to successfully enter Mars orbit on its very first attempt with its Mars Orbiter Mission or the record launch of 20 satellites on a single payload, or creating a world record by launching a massive number of 104 satellites in a single rocket (PSLV-C37).
Over the years, India’s economic progress has contributed significantly to making its space program grow towards dynamism and higher self-reliance in space technology. Continuing its success story, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to create headlines again with the slated launch of its communication satellite GSAT-6A onboard GSLV Mk-II (GSLV F08), touching base from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
Headquartered in the IT city Bangalore, the government space agency has scheduled this spectacular feat in the domain of space science to take off exactly at 16:56 Hrs (IST) on Thursday, March 29, 2018. This launch mission marks the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s 12th flight and 6th flight with the indigenous cryogenic stage. In line with the plan, the rocket is geared up to shoot into the sky from the second launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
As per ISRO, the GSAT 6A is configured just like the former satellite model GSAT-6. Following its predecessor, the GSAT-6A is also a high-power S-band communication satellite, weighing around 2140 kg. The GSAT-6A mission life for this spacecraft project is planned to be for 10 years.
ISRO’s official website statement regarding the ambitious spacecraft mission reads that – The satellite will also provide a platform for developing technologies such as the demonstration of a 6 m S-Band Unfurlable Antenna, handheld ground terminals, and network management techniques that could be useful in satellite-based mobile communication applications.
With its latest spacecraft mission launch, ISRO takes its vision one notch higher: “Our vision is to harness space technology for national development while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration.”