ISRO’s Heavy Lift Rocket A Work In Progress, India Turns To Space X For Launch
CHENNAI, (IANS) – With the development of a rocket that can lift above four tons still a work in progress for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India will be using a US rocket for the launch of communication satellite GSAT-20 (renamed as GSAT-N2).
The 4,700kg GSAT-20 built by ISRO will be orbited by Falcon-9 rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX sometime during the second quarter of 2024. Presently ISRO has the LVM3 rocket with a maximum carrying capacity of four tons and GSAT-20 is heavier by 700 kg.
The satellite is to offer a cost-effective Ka-Ka band high throughput satellite (HTS) primarily for meeting the broadband, as well as IFMC and cellular backhaul service needs.
Earlier India was using the Ariane rockets of Arianespace to launch its communication satellites weighing four or over four tons. And now it has moved to SpaceX.
A couple of private satellite players from India have used SpaceX’s rockets to launch their small satellites, saying the cost is much cheaper than that of ISRO.
Meanwhile, ISRO must realize its semi-cryogenic engine so that the rockets fitted with it can carry over a four-ton payload.