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March 11 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The recent foundation stone laying ceremony of the Kulasekarapattinam launch port by the Indian Prime Minister marks a significant step in bolstering India’s space capabilities.

This new launch port, aimed at accommodating the growing demand for space launches, holds strategic importance for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the burgeoning private space sector.

Need for a New Launchport

Capacity and Overburdening:

  • The surge in demand for commercial launches, especially with the opening of the space sector to private players, could strain existing facilities like the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR.
  • Establishing a new launch port ensures sufficient capacity to handle increased launch frequencies without burdening existing infrastructure.

Diversification of Launch Services:

  • By dedicating SDSC SHAR to larger missions and Kulasekarapattinam for smaller payloads, ISRO can diversify its launch services.
  • This specialization optimizes resource utilization and infrastructure tailored to mission requirements.

Support for Private Players:

  • The new launch port provides dedicated infrastructure for private players to develop space subsystems, satellites, and launch vehicles.
  • Encourages private investment and participation, fostering innovation and competition in the space sector.

Significance of Kulasekarapattinam Launchport

Geographical Advantage:

  • Kulasekarapattinam offers a natural advantage for future launches, especially Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) missions.
  • Its location allows direct southward trajectories, optimizing fuel consumption for SSLVs with limited onboard fuel.

Optimized Trajectory:

  • Launches from Kulasekarapattinam follow a straight southward path, minimizing fuel consumption compared to the longer trajectory required from SDSC SHAR.
  • Crucial for SSLVs, this optimized trajectory enhances payload capacities.

Equatorial Location:

  • Similar to SDSC SHAR, Kulasekarapattinam’s proximity to the equator leverages Earth’s rotation for increased velocity during liftoff.
  • Boosts payload capacities, especially beneficial for missions targeting geostationary orbits.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)

About SSLV:

  • Configured with three solid propulsion stages and a liquid propulsion-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM), SSLV is designed for launching 500kg satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).
  • Offers low cost, quick turnaround time, and flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites.

Significance of SSLV:

  • Addresses the growing demand for small satellite launches driven by space-based data, communication, surveillance, and commerce.
  • Provides cost-effective solutions for satellite manufacturers and operators, tapping into commercial opportunities.

Journey of SSLV:

  • Despite initial setbacks, SSLV has demonstrated success with SSLV-D2 mission, showcasing ISRO’s commitment to advancing space capabilities.

Features of SDSC SHAR

Location and Infrastructure:

  • Situated along the east coast of Andhra Pradesh, 80 km off Chennai, SDSC SHAR provides comprehensive launch infrastructure for all ISRO missions.
  • Equipped with solid propellant processing setups, telemetry services, and mission control centres.

Launch Complexes:

  • SDSC SHAR features two launch complexes, primarily used for Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Space Launch Vehicle (GSLV), and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (LVM3) missions.
  • Operational since the 1990s, SDSC SHAR continues to support India’s space endeavours.


The establishment of Kulasekarapattinam launch port signifies India’s commitment to advancing its space capabilities to meet evolving demands.

With strategic advantages in trajectory optimization and capacity enhancement, coupled with the success of SSLV missions, ISRO is poised to cement its position as a key player in the global space arena.

Mains Question:

  1. “Discuss the significance of the establishment of the Kulasekarapattinam launch port by ISRO in Tamil Nadu. How does this new launch port address the evolving demands of India’s space program and contribute to the growth of the private space sector? (150 WORDS)


March 11
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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