Thiruvananthapuram, India (SPX) Jan 11, 2010
The third launch pad planned at ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, is going to be something special.
While it will meet the space agency's needs for the 2015 Human Space Flight Mission, the launch pad is also being designed to accommodate the proposed Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), India's dream space shuttle which is on the designing board, ISRO officials said.
"The preliminary design for the third launch pad is complete. It will be able to take care of all future programmes of the ISRO, including the Human Space Flight Mission and the Reusable Launch Vehicle," officials said.
ISRO has also started designing a landing strip for the Reusable Launch Vehicle at the Sriharikota Range.
The third pad is coming up one kilometre south of the spaceport's second pad, which was used to lift off the PSLV-XL rocket bearing the Chandrayaan-I mission in 2008. It is expected to be completed by 2015, coinciding with the Human Space Flight Mission for which the GSLV rocket is to be used.
"Since human beings are to be sent to space, the new pad is specially designed.
It will have facilities such as a Crew Escape Module which could come handy in an emergency during the launch," sources said.
A Reusable Launch Vehicle is expected to save the space agency massively in mission costs.
Today, each kilogram of the payload costs around $ 12,000 to be placed in space.
Three launch pads will also enhance ISRO's capability for multiple launches with the space agency's annual number of launches on the rise.
Source: Press Trust of India
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