New Delhi (ISJ): Bouyed by the successful launch of Mars Orbiter Mission or Mangalyaan, Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO plans to undertake 58 space missions during the 12th Five Year Plan, ending 2017. This includes 33 satellites missions and 25 launch vehicle missions (17 PSLV, six GSLV Mark II missions and two GSLV Mark III, including an experimental one).
Meanwhile, ISRO has denied reports of a "Manned Mission to Moon". The denial comes in the wake of claims by Indian Air Force, Defence Ministry has been tasked to recruit crew for the mission and Ministry of Defence and ISRO have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project.
"ISRO currently does not have any project on 'Man to Moon'. The scope of the MOU between ISRO and IAF does not envisage recruitment of crew for ISRO," said an ISRO release.
The Planning Commission has made an outlay of Rs. 39,750 crores during the Plan period for space programmes. During the current financial year, the allocation for Department of Space is Rs. 5,615 cores, said a year-end review of the Department of Space.
Last month, the Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal by ISRO for launch of GSAT-15 and GSAT-16. The GSAT-15 will augment in-orbit spare capacity to meet contingency and to protect the services of existing users. On the other hand, GSAT-16 will provide support to existing telecommunication, television, VSAT and other satellite-based services in the country. It will cost Rs. 865.5 crores including launch services.
Currently nine INSAT/GSAT satellites are operational, providing different frequency bands to nearly 195 transponders. The GSAT-15 will cover the entire Indian mainland. The project at a cost of Rs. 859.5 crores will be completed in 18 months.
ISRO plans to construct a third launch pad at Sriharikota for launch of its upgraded GSLV Mark III. The Union Cabinet had cleared in September, 2013 construction of a Second Assembly Vehicle building at Satish Dhavan Space Centre at an estimated cost of Rs. 363.95 crore to provide redundancy to existing Vehicle Assembly Building.
ISRO is currently gearing up to launch a refurbished GSLV-D5 with indigenously developed cryogenic engine on Sunday, January 05, 2013. Two earlier attempts to launch GSLV-D5 in April 2010 and August 2013 were called off after fuel leak was detected