Thoothukudi: 1,950 acres of 2,350 acres of land has been acquired for the construction of India’s second space launch pad in Tamil Nadu.
While Sriharikota is the best launch pad in South India, India’s second space launch pad is being set up at Kulasekhara Pattinam, Thoothukudi Distric in Tamil Nadu. Why was Tamil Nadu chosen for this?
Minister of State for Science and Technology, Dr. Jitendra Singh, who gave information in this regard in the Rajya Sabha of the Parliament, said that the acquisition of land by the Government of Tamil Nadu is in progress.
The Minister said that we plan to use the existing manpower to oversee the installation of essential infrastructure required for the space base at Kulasekharapatnam and carry out critical launch-related activities.
He said once the groundwork for the country’s second space station is completed, decisions will be taken regarding the manpower requirement for its operation and maintenance.
ISRO estimates that the second space station will be ready for launch by 2024 or 2025. Why does India need a new space station?
A space station with two launch pads is operating at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India. Launched in the late 1970s, the space station offers several advantages as an ideal launch pad.
Since the rockets launched from Sriharikota, which is located very close to the sea, fly eastwards and go above the sea, disaster is avoided as any mishaps, the rockets and their debris fall only in the sea.
Although Sriharikota is suitable for launching heavy rockets, launching 500 kg satellites is a big challenge. When rockets are launched into polar orbit (circling the Earth above the poles), it must pass through neighboring Sri Lanka.
To avoid overshooting a neighboring country, the rocket has to take a curved path instead of flying in a straight line. It consumes a lot of fuel. Especially since smaller rockets like SSLV consume more fuel and the payload carrying capacity of the rocket decreases, the decision was taken to set up an alternative space launch pad.
Kulasekarapatnam is located in the southern part of Tamil Nadu in Tuticorin district. Smaller rockets like SSLVs launched from here and rockets developed by Indian start-ups can fly straight without wasting fuel.
The new space launch pad is based on the fact that small rockets are easy to build, assemble and launch, so it is important for India to have a dedicated space station for small rockets.
Small rockets are attractive to foreign and domestic customers who want to launch small satellites at low cost. Hence, the chances of launching rockets at rocket speed from Kulasekarapatnam in Tamil Nadu have increased.