It’s no secret that India is quickly becoming the world leader in the space industry. From its iconic Mars Orbiter Mission rover (MOM) which got to Mars on its first attempt unlike any other country; to its magnificent feat of launching over 20 satellites in one goes, India is now undertaking more and more ambitious missions that would make NASA look primitive. In February, the infamous Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will attempt to launch a staggering 104 satellites in a single go. If successful, this feat would break the current record held by Russia. So far, India has put over 122 satellites in space, both domestic and foreign. Now, that’s just one of ISRO’s ambitious plans, they have future space plans that would catapult them to the top of the space race.
- 104 Satellites in One Go: As mentioned previously, ISRO will be launching a staggering 104 satellites in its new PSLV beating the Russian held record of 37 back in 2004.
- Moon Rover: this launch is a coordinated effort by ISRO and Team Indus who are one of the final teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize. The team plans to carry, not one, not two, but three rovers to the Moon. This is an ambitious feat as no one as ever carried three rovers before.
- GSLV Mk III: this project will be launching the GAST-19E, and if successful, will make ISRO a self-reliant power in launching 3200kgs range satellites into geostationary orbit.
- Chandrayaan-2 Moon Mission: this will be India’s second lunar exploration mission after the successful Chandrayaan-1 which was launched in October 2008. With Chandrayaan 2, the mission will not only include an orbiter but also a lander and even a rover all developed in-house in India. The launch is expected to be sometime in 2018.
- Aditya-1 Sun Mission: this satellite will be to study the sun and be built by India.
- Indian Venus Mission: the Venus mission will be an orbiter designed and built by ISRO whose mission will be to study the atmosphere of Venus. If funding is approved, ISRO hopes to launch the satellite between 2019-2020.
- Mangalyaan 2-Mars Mission: After Mangalyaan 1, India has now decided to launch a second version that will comprise of an orbiter, and may also include a lander and rover. ISRO hopes to build the Mangalyaan 2 by 2020.
- Jupiter Exploration: After India has established its prominence with Mars, they are looking at Venus and particularly Jupiter. ISRO is currently in the process of some conceptual studies that include deciding on what kind of spacecraft would be needed and what launch window would be suitable.
We’ve covered the core of India’s future space missions up until 2020, but ISRO has much more launches planned within this timeframe for other projects such as rocket and satellite launches. Hopefully, we’ll see plans for an Indian Human Mission to Mars some day soon.