K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), addresses the challenges his agency faces, including the need to increase launch capacity, in an interview with India’s Business Standard newspaper.
“We are planning a third launch pad at [the Satish Dhawan Space Centre],” Radhakrishnan says. “A launch blocks the pad for nearly 60 days. To increase the frequency, we need more launch pads. … It is not just for the GSLV Mark-III (the new launch vehicle being planned) alone that we are in need of a launch pad. We are also planning a unified configuration launch vehicle. It is a semi-cryogenic and cryogenic stage-I. Unified configuration has the growth potential. The third launch pad will take care of this requirement. It may also be used in possible human flights.”
The ISRO chief also discusses India’s efforts to increase transponder capacity and to encourage students and universities to build small satellites.