With the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) gearing up for more launch activities in the coming years, the work on India’s second airport has begun in Tamil Nadu, reports Times of India.
The Union Minister for Department of Space Jitendra Singh on Thursday (28 November) had informed the Rajya Sabha that the government has a proposal to set up a rocket launching pad near Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu.
According to the report, ISRO Chairman K Sivan confirmed that the land acquisition process for the second Indian spaceport has started in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. Major space-faring countries have multiple rocket launch centres.
The ISRO chief said that the new launch pad will mainly cater to launches of newly developed Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). Initially, the launches of the SSLV will be done from Sriharikota but once the second spaceport is completed, subsequent launches will be shifted there.
He said that the first launch of the SSLV with “payload-lifting capability of around 500kg is due in the first quarter of 2020”.
He said depending upon demands later, other rockets could also be launched from the proposed spaceport.
The advantages of the new spaceport include straight southward launches as the current rockets have to be manoeuvred around Sri Lanka. The TN spaceport will also be ideal fro putting satellites in the polar orbit through a PSLV.
The land requirement for the Tuticorin spaceport will reportedly be around 2,300 acres.
The proposed Tuticorin spaceport will ideally be the third launch centre of India in addition to Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh and Thumba equatorial rocket launching station in Kerala. However, no big rockets has been launched from Thumba recently.
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