Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport


08:53 AM

1 min read
Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport Blog Image


The Prime Minister recently laid the foundation stone for a new spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu.

About Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport

  • It is a new spaceport coming up at Kulasekarapattinam, a coastal hamlet near the temple town of Tiruchendur in Thoothukudi district in southern Tamil Nadu.
  • It will be second after the space agency’s existing Satish Dhawan Space Centre, founded in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota in 1971, with two launch pads.
  • It will focus on the launch of Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs) on a commercial basis.
  • It will house 35 facilities, including a launch pad, rocket integration facilities, ground range and checkout facilities, and a mobile launch structure (MLS) with checkout computers.
  • It would have the capacity to launch 24 satellites per year using a mobile launch structure.
  • Spread over 2,350 acres, the Kulasekharapatnam spaceport will help save fuel for small rocket launches as the port can launch rockets directly south over the Indian Ocean without requiring crossing landmasses. 
    • This is unlike the existing launch site at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, which adds more fuel requirements for launching into a polar orbit as rockets need to follow a curved path to the south to avoid Sri Lanka’s landmass.
  • It is estimated to cost Rs. 986 crore.

Key Facts about Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs)

  • SSLV is a 3-stage Launch Vehicle configured with three Solid Propulsion Stages and liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) as a terminal stage. 
  • SSLV is 2m in diameter and 34m in length with lift off weight of 120 tonnes.
  • SSLV is capable of launching 500kg satellite in 500 km planar orbit.
  • The key features of SSLV are Low cost, with low turn-around time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, Launch on demand feasibility, minimal launch infrastructure requirements, etc.

Q1) What is Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)?

It is a space launch vehicle designed, developed and operated by the ISRO to launch satellites and other space objects into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbits (GTO).GSLV has the capability to put a heavier payload (up to 5,000 kg up to 37,000 km) in orbit than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV can carry up to 2000 kg into space up to 600-900 km).GSLV is a 3-stage launcher with strap-on motors. The first stage - uses the solid rocket motor with four liquid engine strap-on motors. This stage generates maximum thrust. The second stage uses a liquid rocket engine which is known as Vikas engine. The third stage uses a Cryogenic engine, which uses liquefied oxygen and hydrogen as fuel.

Source: Kulasekarapattinam: A sweet spot for small rocket launches