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Nuclear sector set to power Indian Space Mission : ISRO Chief S Somanath

Source : The Times of India

MUMBAI: India’s nuclear sector is set to fuel and power future Indian space missions, Isro chairman S Somanath said at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s Techfest on Thursday. He talked about the upcoming projects undertaken by the space agency and said it will also go for nuclear propulsion in collaboration with the department of atomic energy.

Citing that two radioisotope heating units that were included in the propulsion module of Chandrayaan-3 on a trial basis worked flawlessly, Somanath said the department of atomic energy was enthusiastic about the project. His statement assumes significance in the context of global space agencies entering the nuclear power sector.

Nuclear sector set to power Indian Space Mission : ISRO Chief S Somanath

Nuclear sector set to power Indian Space Mission : ISRO Chief S Somanath

The Isro chief said the first phase of the Bharatiya Antariksh Station will be ready by 2028 while the entire station will be completed in 2035. “It will be an international platform for collaborative research,” he said, adding, the space station will be a gateway for interplanetary missions, microgravity studies, space biology, medicine and research.

Speaking on other projects, Somanath said Isro is working on an Integrated Lunar Exploration Roadmap which, among other things, envisages setting up a moonbase habitat at a cost lower than those being planned by other nations. The lunar roadmap also includes a lunar sample return mission.

Further, the space agency is set to launch Xposat mission on new year’s day to study Black Holes and neutron stars. This will mark the 60th mission of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. This will also be the first dedicated polarimetry mission in India, and second globally after Nasa’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer Mission launched in July 2021.

Just five days after this mission, India’s first mission to the Sun, Aditya-L1, is set to reach its destination Lagrange point 1 at 4pm on January 6. The Lagrange point is 1.5 million kms away from earth.

In addition to these, Isro is also planning a satellite exclusively for G20 countries to study air pollution, green house gases and humidity conditions, said Somanath, adding that 50 satellites with strategic applications are being planned for monitoring our borders, studying possible changes in troop movements, many of which will use artificial intelligence.

Speaking about future Indian rockets, the Isro chief said they are planning ones that will be reusable as well as those to be used for space tourism. Explore Your Financial Landscape with Personalized Credit Insights.

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