India is getting ready for two rocket launches next month with Russian and Singaporean payloads for strengthening space-based communication and remote sensing services back home.
First to go up would be Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), carrying GSAT-5 Prime with 24 normal C-band transponders and 12 Extended C-band transponders to augment communication services vis--vis television, broadcasting and telecommunications.
Sources in the Indian Space Research Organisation here indicated that this GSLV-5P, an exclusive C-band communication satellite with a 12 year mission life, is slated to be launched in the second week of December.
Authorities are looking at 10th December as the likely date Top ISRO officials are meeting on 10th November in Sriharikota, from where the twin launches will take place, to review the upcoming GSLV mission and finalize the date.
Preparations are also in full swing for launch of the standard PSLV-C16, with six strap-on boosters, which will carry advanced remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2, auxiliary spacecraft of Youthsat and X-sat, towards the end of December.
"Resourcesat-2 is a follow on mission to Resourcesat-1 to provide data continuity. Suitable changes, including miniaturisation in payload electronics have been incorporated in Resourcesat-2," an ISRO official said.
Resourcesat-2 is intended to replace Resourcesat-1 launched in October 2003. This has outlived its designed mission life of five years and is work satisfactorily, ISRO sources said.
The images generated by Resourcesat-1 are being used for advanced applications such as vegetation dynamics, crop yield estimates and disaster management support.
Youthsat is a participatory scientific mission with a payload from Russia and two from India.
It is a micro satellite carrying scientific payloads. Several universities will participate in the process, from testing the payloads to analyzing the data generated from the loads.
X-sat is Singapore's first indigenous satellite. It is designed and built by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in the city-state.