India HAL hands over satellite structure to support ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission, Science News

India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has provided ISRO with the so-called first set of hardware for India’s Human Spaceflight mission.

According to HAL, this hardware is the satellite bus or the external structure of the satellite which is intended to provide communication support for the Gaganyaan mission.

While the satellite bus can be thought of as a skeleton, it only reaches its final form after the electronics, hardware, solar panels and other components are installed. The recently handed over satellite bus also happens to be the 150th such unit to be deployed by HAL.

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More specifically, this structure that has been delivered is intended for the IDRSS satellite. Two of these Indian data relay system satellites would be placed nearly 36,000 km above the equator (where they would remain in sync with the Earth’s rotation or at a constant position when viewed from Earth ) and will offer monitoring and almost total communication with the Indian space. assets.

It should be noted that a constellation of 3 satellites positioned in an orbit of 36,000 km can provide real-time monitoring, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, of almost the entire earth. Each IDRSS satellite weighs 2275 kg and is intended to be launched by the GSLV Mk2 rocket.

Earlier, Dr. K. Sivan, President of ISRO, told WION that ISRO intends to launch two such IDRSS satellites ahead of Gaganyaan’s manned spaceflight. While the Gaganyaan spacecraft would be placed in low Earth orbit, 400 km above the Earth, these two IDRSS satellites would help Indian astronauts communicate with ground stations.

For context, when Gaganyaan is in orbit around the Earth, but not visible to ground stations, Gaganyaan can send its signals and communicate with the IDRSS satellites above, which in turn would relay them to ground stations and vice versa. This would ensure constant communication between the astronauts and their mission control on earth.

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R. Madhavan, President and CEO of HAL, recalled the organization’s four-decade association with ISRO and how it is poised to play a greater role in ISRO’s rocket integration . “We will continue to be a reliable partner of ISRO with dedication, devotion and zeal,” he added.

HAL also inaugurated a new facility intended to integrate respectively the PS2 and GS2 stages of the Indian rockets PSLV and GSLV. The PS2 and GS2 stages serve as the second stage for India’s PSLV and GSLV launch vehicles, respectively, and are powered by a Vikas engine, which uses liquid fuels.

ISRO’s most ambitious program, Gaganyaan or the Human Spaceflight program has been deferred to the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting impact on industries and restrictions. ISRO is expected to have Gaganyaan’s first unmanned flight by late 2022 or early 2023. This will be followed by one or two more unmanned flights and the manned attempt.

Ida M. Morgan