BENGALURU: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro),which has for long been wanting to scale up its operations,aims at launching 22 missions in 2019, while it has set a target of 50 successful missions in the next three years.”The space agency has a tight schedule ahead, as we are targeting nine launches over the next five months and 22 missions from February to December in 2019, aiming at two per month,” the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan told reporters here.
In all, ISRO is looking at 31 space missions in a span of 16 months starting September 2018 to December next year.”We have also identified 50 satellites that will be launched over the coming three years,” Mr Sivan said on the sidelines of an event here to unveil a statue (bust) of the father of India”s space programme, Vikram Sarabhai, on his 99th birth anniversary.
ISRO official said on Sunday “We have planned to launch Chandrayaan mission in January. We are fixing with that (date) and targeting that. But that is an open window. We can go up to March also. As we are coming closer (the date), we may miss the target,” he said.The reason for postponing the mission was that there were certain important changes made in the design so that it could easily land on the lunar surface, he said. He was speaking on the sidelines of a function, where the bust of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the architect of the Indian space mission, was unveiled.Asked why the weight of Chandrayaan-2 was increased by 600 kg, he said ISRO noticed during experiments that after the moon lander was ejected, the satellite would shake. So they decided that the design modification was required for landing and mass has to be increased. “We also realised that the orbiter required more phases, which required more fuel,” he told reporters.