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Kulasekarapattinam: Advantages for ISRO's Second Launchport



  Mar 07, 2024

Advantages of Kulasekarapattinam for ISRO’s Second Rocket Launchport



Why was Kulasekarapattinam chosen as the location for ISRO’s second rocket launchport?

Kulasekarapattinam was selected for several strategic reasons crucial for space mission efficiency and effectiveness, especially for launches involving the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). Its southern coastal location in Tamil Nadu near the equator facilitates direct southward launch trajectories. This choice is underpinned by the need for fuel efficiency, optimal payload capacity, and navigational ease for launching satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits.

How does the direct southward launch trajectory from Kulasekarapattinam benefit space missions?

The direct southward trajectory is pivotal for space missions due to its fuel-saving potential. Launches aimed at polar and sun-synchronous orbits from Kulasekarapattinam can take a straight path over the Indian Ocean, reducing the need for fuel-intensive course corrections. This trajectory is more efficient compared to the detour required from India’s first launch site, SDSC SHAR in Sriharikota, which needs to navigate around Sri Lanka, thereby saving significant amounts of fuel and enhancing the mission’s overall efficiency.

What advantage does Kulasekarapattinam’s proximity to the equator offer?

The location’s closeness to the equator offers a natural ‘slingshot’ effect, which is a significant advantage for rocket launches. The Earth’s rotation speed is faster at the equator, and this rotational boost significantly increases the velocity of the launch vehicle. Such an increase allows rockets to carry more payload for the same amount of fuel or alternatively use less fuel for the same payload. This benefit optimizes mission costs and enhances the payload capacity, making launches more efficient and cost-effective.

Why is navigational ease around geographical obstacles like Sri Lanka important?

Navigational ease around geographical obstacles such as Sri Lanka is crucial for reducing fuel consumption. Launches from Kulasekarapattinam offer a direct southward path, eliminating the need to navigate around Sri Lanka, which is a requirement for launches from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR. This direct trajectory results in significant fuel savings, as the rocket can follow a straighter path to the intended orbit without the need for additional fuel to adjust the course. The geographical advantage of Kulasekarapattinam thus contributes to more fuel-efficient and cost-effective satellite launches.

How do these advantages align with ISRO’s mission objectives?

These geographical advantages align perfectly with ISRO’s objectives to enhance India’s capabilities in the global space sector, particularly for launching small satellites into low Earth orbit efficiently and cost-effectively. By optimizing fuel use, increasing payload capacity, and ensuring navigational ease, Kulasekarapattinam’s location supports ISRO’s goals of providing reliable and cost-effective launch services. This strategic choice will help India cater to the growing demand for satellite launches, both domestically and internationally, thus reinforcing its position as a key player in the global space industry.


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