Satish Dhawan Space Centre

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Coordinates: 13°43′11.78″N 80°13′49.53″E / 13.7199389°N 80.2304250°E / 13.7199389; 80.2304250

Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC)
सतीश धवन अंतरिक्ष केंद्र
Indian Space Research Organisation Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed October 1, 1971; 42 years ago (1971-10-01)
Jurisdiction Indian federal government
Headquarters Sriharikota, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
13°43′12″N 80°13′49″E / 13.72000°N 80.23028°E / 13.72000; 80.23028
Employees Unknown (2008)
Annual budget See the budget of ISRO
Agency executive M.Y.S. Prasad, Director
Parent agency ISRO
Website [5] ISRO SHAR home page
Map
Satish Dhawan Space Centre.jpg
An aerial view of Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

The Satish Dhawan Space Centre is the launch centre for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is located in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, 83 km (52 mi) north of Chennai. Originally called Sriharikota Range (SHAR, an acronym ISRO have retained to the present day) and then Sriharikota Launching Range, the centre was renamed in 2002 after the death of ISRO's former chairman prof Satish Dhawan.

SDSC's current director is Dr.M.Y.S. Prasad. He took over from M.C. Dathan on 1 January 2013 after the latter was appointed as Director of LPSC.[1]

History[edit]

Sriharikota island was chosen in 1969 for a satellite launching station.

The centre became operational 1971 when an RH-125 sounding rocket was launched.[2] The first attempted launch of an orbital satellite, Rohini 1A aboard a Satellite Launch Vehicle, took place 10 Aug 1979, but due to a failure in thrust vectoring of the rocket's second stage, the satellite's orbit decayed 19 Aug 1979.[3]

SHAR was named as 'Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR' (SDSC), on 5 September 2002, in memory of Prof Satish Dhawan, former Chairman of the ISRO.

The SHAR facility now consists of two launch pads, with the second built in 2005. The second launch pad was used for launches beginning in 2005 and is a universal launch pad, accommodating all of the launch vehicles used by ISRO. The two launch pads will allow multiple launches in a single year, which was not possible earlier. India's lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-1 launched from the centre at 6:22 AM IST on 22 October 2008.

SHAR will be the main base for the Indian human spaceflight program. A new third launchpad will built specifically to meet the target of launching a manned space mission by 2017.[4]

Location[edit]

Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) is located on Sriharikota, a spindle-shaped island on the East Coast of Andhra Pradesh. Features like a good launch azimuth corridor for various missions, nearness to the equator (benefiting eastward launches), and large uninhabited area for a safety zone make it an ideal spaceport.

SHAR covers a total area of about 145 km2 (56 sq mi) with a coastal length of 27 km (17 mi). Prior to its acquisition for ISRO by the Indian Government, its was a firewood plantation of Eucalyptus and Casuarina trees. This island is affected by both south-westerly and north-easterly monsoons, but heavy rains come only in October and November. Thus many clear days are available for out-door static tests and launchings.[5]

SHAR is linked to Sullurupeta by a road across Pulicat Lake. Sullurupeta has connectivity with other parts of India by Indian Railways and is on a National Highway 5 (India) that connects it to Chennai (about 83 km (52 mi) south) and Kolkata. Towards Chennai on the highway is Sricity,[6] a developing satellite city on the border between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Launch history[edit]

Originally known as the Sriharikota Range (SHAR) and later named after Satish Dhawan, it is India's primary orbital launch site to this day. The first flight-test of 'Rohini-125', a small sounding rocket which took place on 9 October 1971 was the first ever spaceflight from SHAR. Since then technical, logistic and administrative infrastructure have been enhanced. Together with the northerly Balasore Rocket Launching Station, the facilities are operated under the ISRO Range Complex (IREX) headquartered at SHAR.[7]

Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV)[edit]

The range became operational when three Rohini 125 sounding rockets were launched on 9 and 10 October 1971. Previously, India used Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), on the west coast of India, to launch sounding rockets. The first test launch of the complete SLV-3 rocket occurred in August 1979 but it was only partially successful following a malfunction in the second stage guidance system. SHAR facilities worked satisfactorily during the SLV-3 preparation and launch. On 18 July 1980 the SLV-3 successfully launched India's third satellite. Out of the four SLV launches from SHAR, two were successful.

Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV)[edit]

The ASLV orbital launcher was integrated vertically, beginning with motor and subassembly preparations in the Vehicle Integration Building (VIB) and completed on the pad within the 40 m tall Mobile Service Structure. The first ASLV launch from SHAR took place in 1987 and resulted in a failure. Eventually, out the four ASLV launches from 1987–94, only one was successful.

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)[edit]

The PSLV launch complex was commissioned during 1990. It has a 3,000 tonne, 76.5 m high Mobile Service Tower (MST) which provides the SP-3 payload clean room. The solid propellant motors for the PSLV are processed by SHAR, which also carries out launch operations. The first launch of the PSLV took place on 20 September 1993. Since then out of 23 launches, PSLV has recorded 23 successes, 1 failure and 1 partial failure. PSLV is launched both from the first and the second launch pad.

Facilities[edit]

The Centre has two operational orbital launch pads. SHAR is ISRO's satellite launching base and additionally provides launch facilities for the full range of Rohini sounding rockets. The Vehicle Assembly, Static Test and Evaluation Complex (VAST, previously STEX) and the Solid Propellant Space Booster Plant (SPROB) are located at SHAR for casting and testing solid motors. The site also has a Telemetry Tracking & Control centre, Liquid Propellant Storage and Servicing Facilities (LSSF), the Management Service Group and Sriharikota Common Facilities. The PSLV launch complex was commissioned in 1990. It has a 3,000 tonne, 76.5 m high Mobile Service Tower (MST) which provides the SP-3 payload clean room.[8]

The solid propellant space booster plant (SPROB) processes large size propellant grains for the satellite launch vehicles. The Static Test & Evaluation Complex (STEX) tests and qualifies different types of solid motor for launch vehicles. The control centre at SHAR houses computers and data processing, closed circuit television, real-time tracking systems and meteorological observation equipment. It is linked to eight radars located at Sriharikota and the five stations of ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking & Command Network (ISTRAC).

The propellant production plant produces composite solid propellant for rocket motors of ISRO using ammonium perchlorate (oxidiser), fine aluminium powder (fuel) and hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (binder). The solid motors processed here include those for the first stage booster motor of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) — a five segmented motor of 2.8 m diameter and 22 m length, weighing 160 tons with a thrust level of 450 tons.

Rocket motors and their subsystems have to be rigorously tested and evaluated on ground before they are declared flight worthy. The facilities at SDSC SHAR are used for testing solid rocket motors, both at ambient conditions and simulated high altitude conditions. Besides these, there are facilities for conducting Vibration, Shock, Constant Acceleration and Thermal/humidity tests.

SDSC SHAR has infrastructure for launching satellites into low earth orbit, polar orbit and geo-stationary transfer orbit. The launch complexes provide support for vehicle assembly, fuelling, checkout and launch operations. The Centre also has facilities for launching sounding rockets for atmospheric studies. The mobile service tower, launch pad, preparation facilities for different launch stages & spacecraft, storage, transfer and servicing facilities for liquid propellants, etc., are the principal parts of the PSLV/GSLV launch complex.

For supporting the GSLV Mk III programme additional facilities are being set up at SDSC. A new plant (SPP) is set up to process heavier class boosters with 200 tonnes of Solid propellant. The static test complex is being augmented for qualifying the S-200 booster. Other new facilities include a Solid Stage Assembly Building, Satellite Preparation and Filling Facility and Hardware Storage buildings. The existing liquid propellant and cryogenic propellant storage and filling systems, Propellant Servicing Facilities will also be augmented. The range instrumentation system will be enhanced further

Launch pads[edit]

SLV Launch Pad[edit]

This launch pad was used by the Satellite Launch Vehicle and Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle is located at the southern tip of the current launch site. It has been decommissioned. Initially it was built for launching SLV-3s but was later also used as an ASLV launch complex.

First Launch Pad (FLP)[edit]

The modern First Launch Pad was built in the early 1990s for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. It has also been used by the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. The twentieth launch from the pad - a PSLV-XL with IRNSS-1A - occurred on 1 July 2013.

Second Launch Pad (SLP)[edit]

The SLP at SHAR is a state-of-the-art launch complex. SLP is configured as a universal launch pad capable of accommodating all the launch vehicles of ISRO including the advanced launch vehicles to be built in the next decade and beyond. It became operational in 2005.

Third Launch Pad (TLP)[edit]

The Third Launch Pad is specifically being built for manned missions at a cost of Rs 6 billion.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Correspondent, Special (2 January 2013). "Ramakrishnan takes over as VSSC Director". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "RH-125". Encyclopedia Astronautica. 
  3. ^ "SLV". Encyclopedia Astronautica. 
  4. ^ Zee News (21 October 2008). "India to build a new launch-pad and an astronaut training centre". Zee News. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  5. ^ [1] Sriharikota Launching Range-Source Bharatrakshak.com
  6. ^ [2] Places to visit near sriharikota (shar) | About Sriharikota-Source-Website on Sriharikota Range (SHAR)
  7. ^ [3] Unveiling of the Bust of Satish Dhawan at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota & Presentation of Astronautical Society of India Awards by Prime Minister-Press Release, Date Released: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, Source: Indian Space Research Organisation
  8. ^ [4] Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota Range (SHAR) (India), Civil space organisations – Launch facilities, Source – Jane's Information Group
  9. ^ "ISRO to begin process soon for Human Space Flight Mission". The Hindu. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 

External links[edit]