K. Sivan said ISRO set to launch ‘GSAT-30’ on January 17

ISRO is all set to launch a heavy communication satellite GSAT-30 on January 17, GSAT-30 will lift-off from Kourou space centre in French Guiana on board an Ariane-5 rocket of the European Space Agency (Arianespace).

On Wednesday, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chief, K. Sivan said, “The launch of GSAT-30 from Kouru will be our first satellite in the New Year (2020) to augment capacity to provide communication links to state-run and private service providers.”

The Paris-based Arianespace allegedly launched the space agency’s GSAT-31 on February 6, 2019, along with 1-2K bus structure to provide communication services from geo-stationary orbit in Ku-band for 15 years.

Sivan further said, “We are planning to have 25 launches this year, including Aditya-L1 satellite, which will be inserted in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1), about 1.5 million km from the earth.”

ISRO in a statement said, “Aditya will study the solar corona, which is the outer layers of the sun, extending to thousands of km above the disc (photosphere or corona). The corona has more than a million degree Kelvin temperature, which is higher than the solar disc temperature of 6,000K. How the corona gets heated to such high temperatures is still an unanswered question in solar physics.”

Also, Aditya will allegedly study the Chromosphere (ultra-violent) and the particle flux that is emanating from the sun and reaching the L1 orbit. The magnetometer payload will be measuring the variation in magnetic field strength at the halo around L1.

Other launches throughout the year include SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle to place smaller satellites (500kg and less) in the earth’s lower orbit, GSAT-20 satellite, NavIC with indigenous atomic clocks, GSLV with 4-metre ogive payload fairing (heat shield), Indian Data Relay Satellite System and Xposat.

Siva also said, “During 2019, six launch vehicle and seven satellite missions were realised by us. The year also marked also marked the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the workhorse of the space agency.”