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Mars, GISAT, transponders, on ISRO’s 12th plan agenda

Mars, GISAT, transponders, on ISRO’s 12th plan agenda
Indian Space Research Organisation plans to launch 58 space missions, including sending spacecraft to moon and Mars, an exclusive satellite to keep a round-the-clock watch on the country and deploy 500 transponders in the next five years.

The space agency also aims to deploy its own version of the Global Positioning System by putting into orbit a constellation of seven satellites which would form the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System [IRNSS].

According to the 12th Five Year Plan, approved by the Indian Cabinet last week, ISRO plans to add 400 transponders to the existing 187 to meet the growing demand from DTH operators, satellite mobile communications and new generation broadband VSAT systems. An indicative plan outlay of Rs 39,750 crore for the 12th Plan has been made for the Department of Space.

'Overall, 58 missions are planned for realisation during 12th Plan period which includes 33 satellite missions and 25 launch vehicle missions,' the 12th Plan document says.

The space agency is also designing a special 'eye-in-the- sky' – Geo-Imaging Satellite or GISAT - to be stationed 36,000 km above to maintain round-the-clock vigil and assist state authorities to tackle natural disasters, floods and forest fires and keep a watch over the country's sensitive borders.

Missions initiated in the 11th Plan like Chandrayaan-II, Astrosat-1 and Aditya-1 are also expected to set forth on their respective destinations into space over the next five years. As part of Chandrayaan-II, ISRO plans to land a rover on the lunar surface and put a satellite in an orbit around the moon. The mission is expected to be launched in 2014.
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