The satellite launch capability of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to get a second vehicle assembly building by the end of this year. This facility will be commissioned in the Sriharikota-based Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said, “Because of just one vehicle assembly building, final assembling of components (stages of rockets) was a bottleneck. Therefore, the second vehicle assembly building is being constructed. The work on the building is nearly complete and by the end of this year, it will become operational. With the new assembly facility, we will be able to assemble parallelly the launch vehicle and bring it to existing two launchpads. It will thus help boost the launch capability of the Sriharikota centre.”
He continued further stating, “We have not reached the limit of two launchpads. With the new assembly facility, we will be able to assemble more vehicles. Once we are able to assemble more rockets but not able to launch them even by reducing launch timings, then we will start work on the third launchpad. But for that, we first need (government’s) approval. So, we are gradually working to eliminate all bottlenecks to increase the frequency of launches.”
ISRO is all set to double its launch capacity. Presently, the launchpad is equipped to undertake 7 launches in a year which will be increased to 12 after this. India has been a most sought destination after it has made the launch economical and the success rate was much higher than its counterparts. It has earned Rs 230 crore through foreign satellite launches in 2015-16 even though ISRO’s share in the global launch services market is just 0.6% whose overall value is estimated to be worth around Rs 38,000 crore.