ISRO unveils ambitious satellite launch plans for next five years; eyeing records 12-14 missions in 2024

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set its sights on launching an impressive total of 50 satellites in the upcoming five years, with an ambitious goal of conducting at least 12 missions in the year 2024. This announcement was made by ISRO Chairman S Somanath during a recent event at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, where he outlined the organization’s plans for expanding its geo-intelligence capabilities.

ISRO’s forthcoming satellite deployments will encompass a diverse range of orbits, designed to enhance geo-intelligence gathering capabilities. These satellites will be equipped to monitor troop movements and capture high-resolution images of vast areas spanning thousands of kilometers.

Somanath emphasized the need to bolster India’s satellite fleet substantially, stating, “For India to achieve its aspirations of becoming a robust nation, we need to increase the size of our satellite fleet tenfold from its current size.”

Additionally, ISRO aims to elevate its satellite technology by enhancing its ability to detect changes. The organization is planning to incorporate more AI-driven and data-centric approaches to data analysis, with a focus on reducing unnecessary data downloads and extracting only essential information.

Somanath addressed the media following the successful launch of the PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, announcing that 2024 has been designated as the “Year of Gaganyaan.” ISRO will conduct a series of tests throughout the year before the inaugural manned mission takes place in the following year.

Building upon the success of the First Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) conducted in the previous year to demonstrate the crew escape system, ISRO has scheduled two more unmanned missions and various tests, including helicopter drop tests and launch pad abort tests, for the current year.

In anticipation of these ambitious goals, ISRO plans to execute approximately 12 to 14 missions in 2024, utilizing all three of its launch vehicles: PSLV, GSLV, and SSLV. This roster will encompass both domestic and commercial missions, including the launch of notable satellites such as INSAT-3DS, the collaborative INDO-US satellite NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar), and a second-generation navigation satellite, all carried out via the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Furthermore, ISRO is set to launch a remote sensing satellite using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and conduct the third flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in the same year. Notably, tests for the scramjet engine and reusable launch vehicles are also on the docket for 2024, signaling a year of significant advancements and achievements for India’s space program.

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