Top 5 Achievements of ISRO in 2017 and Important Upcoming Missions
2017 was a victorious year for ISRO, It does not include the glamour missions like Mangalyaan or Chandrayaan but this year ISRO achieved a great leap towards its future space research programs by noticeable commercial launch and development of future vehicles.
The achievement of ISRO in 2017 was the continued success from the previous year. In 2016, ISRO succeeded in many important missions like RLV TD(Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator), Cryogenic technology, etc. The year started with setting a world record of launching 104 satellites in a single rocket.
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A Brief Description of 6 Missions in 2017
The achievements of ISRO in 2017 starts with the successful launch of PSLV C 37 on February 15th with Cartosat -2 satellite and other 103 nanosatellites. This was a record-breaking satellite launch, It broke the record of 37 satellites launched by Russian rocket Dneper. It was the 16th mission of PSLV n XL configuration.
The next achievement of ISRO in 2017 was the launch of GSLV-F 09. It was launched to place 2230 kg GSAT-9 the South Asia Satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). It was the eleventh mission of GSLV and the fourth consecutive successful mission of the indigenous cryogenic engine.
The launch of GSLV Mk III was the success of India’s heaviest rocket. The three-stage rocket has two solid motor stage, one liquid propellant stage, and the cryogenic upper stage. In the flight on June fifth, ISRO placed 3136 kg GSAT 19 into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The vehicle has a capacity to carry 4 tons of payload into GTO. The success of GSLV Mk III was one of the noticeable achievements of ISRO in 2017 and it was a crucial step towards the future missions of ISRO.
Achievement of ISRO in 2017 continues with the launch of PSLV C-38 with Cartosat 2 series satellite on June 23rd. It was the 40th mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The 712 kg earth observational satellite Cartosat and other 30 co-passenger satellites, which together weigh 243kg.
These satellites are placed into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Of the co-passengers satellites, 29 are from foreign countries and one Nanosatellite (NIUSAT) from India.
In the same month, India’s another communication satellite GSAT -19 launched using European Unions Ariane 5 Launch Vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana. This was the greatest achievement of ISRO in 2017 by launching three communication satellites in two months.
The Ariane rocket placed the huge satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit at 35,920 km from earth. The satellite was controlled from ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.
After the long journey of the success of ISRO in 2017, the PSLV C-39 mission got failed due to the heat shield failed to separate in the fourth stage of the rocket and the satellite was blasted off.
PSLV C-39 was the rocket used in this mission and it was a mission to launch India’s navigational satellite IRNSS-1H, The launch was on August 31st. IRNSS-1H is a part of India’s regional navigation satellite constellation.
Important Upcoming Missions of ISRO
The achievements of ISRO in 2017 is the key to the successful future of Indian space research programs. Up to recent times, ISRO focused on the development of technology that can be directly used for the day-to-day life of people like communication satellites, weather forecasting, and earth observational satellites, etc..
Now the ISRO start developing scientific research satellites like Astrosat, Adithya and operated interplanetary missions like Manmgalyaan(MOM), Chandrayaan-1.
Along with the scientific and interplanetary missions, satellite programs and technology developments like Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment(CARE), Reusable Launch Vehicle etc is going on.
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CARTOSAT-2 Series Satellite Mission
The primary objective of the Cartosat-2 series satellite is to provide high-resolution earth images mainly for cartographic applications. The launch is planned in December 2017 by PSLV C-40 along with some co-passenger satellites.
This mission is planned during the fourth quarter of 2017. GSAT-6A is a communication satellite like it predecessor GSAT satellites. It will be launched by the GSLV with the indigenously developed cryogenic engine.
Chandrayaan-2 is the second lunar mission of ISRO. The indigenously developed mission comprising of an Orbiter, Lander, and Rover.
The mission carries six-wheeled rover which will explore the lunar surface in semi-autonomous mode. The instruments and camera in the rover will collect and analyze the data and sent back to ISRO control stations.
The orbiter’s objective is remote sensing the moon. It will collect information about lunar topography, mineralogy, elemental abundance, lunar exosphere and signatures of hydroxyl and water-ice. The mission is planned during the first half of 2018.
GSAT-29 is a communication satellite to enhance the Village Resource Centres (VRC) to bring digital technology to the rural area. GSAT-29 will be launched by GSLV Mk III. It is scheduled to be launched during the first half of 2018.