ISRO to work on electric propulsion system: Chairman

Published: 05th June 2017 10:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2017 10:45 PM   |  A+A-

ISRO Chairman Dr A S Kiran Kumar | EPS


SRIHARIKOTA: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will work on launching vehicles with "electric propulsion system" so that large satellites can be sent into space by the agency, its Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said today.

"Till today, we had the capability to launch 2.2 tonne satellites and in today's GSLV-MKIII D1 launch, we successfully used electric propulsion system," he told reporters here. Asked whether ISRO would make use of the facility at French Guiana, he said for the next satellite GSAT18, weighing about 3.3 tonnes and scheduled for launch on June 28 and another satellite weighing 5.8 tonnes would be done from there.

For launching heavier satellites, ISRO had to depend on facilities from abroad and the space agency had launched 3,404 kg communication satellite GSAT18 from Ariane, French Guiana. "For the next launch which is on June 28, we are actually getting it done from Ariane.

It is a GSAT18 which is about 3.3 tonnes but after that we also have 5.8-tonne satellite for which also, we will be going to French Guiana," he said. "We have a six-tonne satellite in principle. It is possible to be realised using electric propulsion. So we have already started using electric propulsion system. (Even) GSAT-19 (launched today) carries an electric propulsion system.

So, we have successfully tested that," he said. Asked how the mood was when the cryogenic upper stage was firing during today's launch of GSLV MkIII carrying GSAT-19, he said it was "upbeat" as the scientists undertook several round of tests. "The mood was upbeat. In December 2014 we tested our first S200 solid motor and L110 liquid engine. We did make certain modifications. As far as cryogenic engine was concerned, more than 199 tests have done since December 2014. All these tests have been done without any mishap or failure.

This also boosted our confidence," he said. About the immediate task for ISRO, Kumar said "it is to improve the launch vehicles of PSLV, at least two launches of GSLV Mark II per year and one more Mark III within a year". Asked when GSAT19 would reach the intended orbit, he said, "Right now what is achieved is a geostationary transfer orbit. That means, it is about perigee of 170 kms and apogee of 39,500 kms.

What we will do is a series of manoeuvres using the propulsion of the satellite in the coming days. Typically it takes two to three weeks." On the status of inter-planetary mission, Kumar said the space agency had two approved missions - "Aditya" and "Chandrayaan II." "The launch of "Chandrayaan II" will be in the first quarter of next year and with regard to "Aditya" we are planning to launch it some time in 2018-'19," he said.

To a query as to whether the market size of ISRO increased with today's heavy satellite launch, Kumar said "definitely with every successful launch credibility of the system goes up. Customers will have greater confidence".

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp