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ISRO to Launch Joint Satellite NISAR with NASA

A. S. Kiran Kumar takes over as the Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman, Space Commission and Chairman, ISRO on January 14, 2015. (PIB Photo)

A. S. Kiran Kumar takes over as the Secretary, Department of Space, Chairman, Space Commission and Chairman, ISRO on January 14, 2015. (PIB Photo)

ISRO has announced that NISAR, a joint earth observation satellite with NASA, will be launched in six years.

ISRO chiarman AS Kiran Kumar told media after the successful launch of GSAT-6 onboard GSLV-D6 that the next commercail satellite with the US will be carried by the GSLV Mark II in 2021. “Currently we are working on it,” he said.

NISAR Mission (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Mission) will measure the motions of the crust beneath Earth’s surface and even ice-covered glaciers.

NASA has been working on SAR mission to identify changes on Earth’s surface, inlcuding ecosystems, solid earth and cryospheric arena. ISRO has been in partnership with NASA to develop a mission with L-band and S-band SAR systems with a range of applications such as agricultural biomass, snow and glacier cover in the Himalayas, Indian coastal and near-shore ocean studies, and disaster monitoring and assessment.

Kiran Kumar also said ISRO is keen on enhancing its capacity and reduce timeframe for future launches using its workhorses — GSLV and PSLV vehicles as there has been enough demand for both PSLV and GSLV. “GSLV puts satellites in Geostationary orbit. Whereas PSLV is different. But there is a huge market even for GSLV. After today’s launch we are confident of making successful launches in GSLV,” he said after the launch of GSAT-6 on GSLV-D6.

GSLV-D6/GSAT-6 Mission Director R Umamaheswaran said GSLV-D6 launch was one of the “shortest” timeframes for ISRO. “The preparations for this launch commenced on April 8… and today is 100th day of the campaign. Here the cryogenic stage is assembled in Mahendragiri. With this we are able to reduce duration of the campaigns,” he said.

ISRO Future Launches:

ISRO will launch next the ASTROSAT next month on board PSLV carrying several science payloads. “This is a unique satellite because it has got many observations on a common platform. We are targeting to launch it in last week of September,” he said. Moreover, the launch will also carry 4 US satellites on board the PSLV.

Elaborating on other plans for 2015, he said, “We are also planning to launch three IRNSS satellites by December 2015, February 2016 and March 2016.”

On Chandrayaan-II mission, Kiran Kumar the launch will be sometime in December 2017 or January 2018. “Currently work is in progress and a couple of tests are coming up in the next few months,” he said.

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