Land acquisition complete for India’s 2nd spaceport, work may begin soon, says former ISRO Director

Currently, India carries out all rocket launch activity from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh Photograph:( Others)

By Sidharth MP,
Published by Wionews, 18 October 2022

India’s second spaceport will come up at Kulasekarapattinam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu and the work on building it may start anytime 

Land acquisition has been completed for India’s second spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, revealed a top government official. Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, the vice president of Tamil Nadu State Council for Science & Technology and the former director, ISRO Satellite Center said the work on building the new spaceport may start anytime. He was optimistic about the emergence of a space ecosystem around the new spaceport in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district. 

Sriharikota offers various advantages as an ideal launch site. Situated on the east coast and at a position nearer to the equator, rockets launched from here are aided by the additional velocity of Earth’s West-East rotation. This effect of this rotation is felt closest to the equator and is almost nil at the earth’s poles. This effect mainly benefits launches into equatorial orbits.

Dr Annadurai was speaking at the international conclave titled “Space Technology: The Next Business Frontier” hosted at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) by the US Consulate General and the Indian Space Association (ISpA).

“It is predicted that 10,000 satellites will be launched in the next ten years. They are meant to perform functions ranging from communications, radars, optical sensors, remote sensing etc.,” said Prof. Rajeev Jyoti, Director Technical, IN-SPACe, Indian National Space Promotion & Authorisation Centre. He elaborated by referring to the trend of the global space sector moving from the large satellites in geostationary orbit to developing small satellite constellations for low earth orbit. 

Urging the Indian industry and private sector to take forward the country’s space programme, he said that solutions had to be developed for space debris mitigation, as space was getting increasingly crowded. Referring to the new rules of the Federal Communications Commission(FCC), he said that defunct space objects (debris) had to now be removed within five years, as opposed to the earlier 25-year time period for the same.

Adding to the prospects for India in the era of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations, Dr Annadurai added that the new SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket holds huge potential. He emphasised how the rocket would be able to perform to its full payload capability, once it is launched from the upcoming spaceport in Tamil Nadu’s Kulasekarapattinam. Currently, India carries out all rocket launch activity from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. 

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