Byalalu, near Kumbalgodu on the outskirts of the city, is all set to become the hub of the country’s space programme in the coming months as two of India’s most important missions will be controlled from here.
On Tuesday, the ISRO centre at Byalalu, also known as the Indian Deep Space Network Centre, which was the nerve centre of the Chandrayaan 1 mission got an addition to its impressive range of facilities. The ISRO Navigation Centre (INC), which will handle the upcoming Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) mission and the Mars Orbiter Mission was inaugurated.
The INC will be responsible for time reference, generation of navigation messages and monitoring of ground facilities for the IRNSS mission. The centre is equipped with a high-precision timing facility with atomic clocks which will coordinate between 21 ranging stations placed all over the country. “The IRNSS 1A satellite will be launched in the early hours of June 12 from Sri Harikota on the PSLV launch vehicle. Bylalu (INC) will synthesise all the data generated from the IRNSS system,” ISRO chairman, Dr K Radhakrishnan announced at the launch. Another important role for the INC will be during the Mars Orbiter mission slated for launch in the end of October or early November.
While the Chandrayaan satellite was powered by a 2 Kilowatt charge, the Mars Orbiter will have 20 Kw of power for the mission. The orbiter has to exit earth’s orbit latest by November 26 and Radhakrishnan said the ISRO was prepared for the mission.
Minister of State for PMO V Narayansamy said the government was committed to providing all support for the space mission. “Some in the cabinet questioned the need to spend `400 crore for the Mars mission. I told them that the orbiter just going there and sending a signal back itself would be a big success,” he said.