ISRO to launch 18 missions in next six months

With the continuing success of PSLV missions, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided to take it up a notch and plans to launch 18 missions in the next six months, virtually one in every two weeks.

On Sunday night, ISRO successfully launched NovaSAR and S1-4 earth observation satellites of the UK-based Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd.

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“We are going to have 18 missions in the next six months, virtually one launch every two weeks,” ISRO chairman K Sivan said in a press release.

According to senior scientist, some of the planned launches include GSAT-11, Chandrayaan-2 moon mission and GSLV-MkIII-D2 missions. GSAT-11 is a multi-beam communication satellite, which is expected to be launched from French Guiana. While Chandrayaan-2 is the second mission to the moon in which ISRO will launch the lander carrying a six-wheel rover.

Earlier in October 2008, ISRO had successfully launched Chandrayaan-1 which orbited the moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface for chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the moon.

In Chandrayaan-2, the scientists will make the lander soft-land on the moon and deploy the rover to study its surface. The GSLV-MkIII-D2 mission would, for the first time, carry communication payloads. It is targeted at Village Resource Centres in rural areas to bridge the digital divide.

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