Bangalore: Indian space scientists celebrated the success of a Rs 200 crore project to launch the country’s largest communications satellite into space and said the government has sanctioned Rs 425 crore for India’s next unmanned moon mission in 2014.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also has a budget of Rs 145 crore to develop proper life support, flight suits and crew escape systems for any future manned space trip, the space agency’s chairman K Radhakrishnan told reporters.
The chairman was addressing media on the successful launch of its latest communication satellite GSAT-12 onboard a powerful variant of homegrown Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C17 from the spaceport 90 kms from Chennai. PSLV lifted off from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 4:48 p at the end of a 53-hour countdown and placed the 1,410 kg GSAT-12 into orbit about 20 inutes later.
Radhakrishnan also added that ISRO is working on building an improved version of the powerful Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle by June 2012. GSLV has been marred by failed launches since 2006.
ISRO’s chairman added that Chandrayaan 2, India’s second moon exploration mission is slated to happen in another three years at the cost of Rs 425 crore. The country’s first unmanned lunar probe took place in 2008 under the project name Chandrayaan 1.