New Delhi, Jan 1 (PTI) After an eventful year capped by the mission to moon, ISRO scientists are now developing the next generation launch vehicle to cut by half the cost of putting satellites in orbit.
The new year will see a series of tests in the development of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, which is expected to take to the skies in 2010-11 period.
The new rocket, which can put a four tonne satellite in orbit, will help Antrix Corporation, ISRO's commercial arm, to offer cheapest space launches in the niche market. The regular GSLV can put 2.2 tonne satellites in orbit.
"The new year will see solid booster testing for the Mark III, followed by the liquid stage after which we will test the cryogenic engine stage," K Radhakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre told PTI.
"We are planning to have flight testing during 2010-11 period," he said.
Radhakrishnan said ISRO will be able to pack more transponders in one space flight. "This makes it a cost effective solution and will give us a niche in the world in launching four tonne satellites," he said.
The GSLV Mark III will also help ISRO put more Indians in space at one go. As per the current plans, the agency plans to send two Indians on a week-long space sojourn in 2015.
"The regular GSLV will be used for the human spaceflight. In case we use Mark III, we can send three persons instead of two," Radhakrishnan said. PTI