Chennai: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to close 2010 with the launch of communication satellite GSAT-5P, which will replace the ageing INSAT 2E to ensure continuity of service for telecom and television channel customers.
ISRO is also likely to open the New Year with the launch of Resourcesat-2, an earth observation satellite.
First to escape the earth`s gravity sometime between Dec 10 and 15 will be ISRO`s heavy rocket called the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) carrying GSAT-5P to replace the ageing INSAT 2E launched in 1999.
"The 2,300-kg satellite with 36 transponders will provide continuity of service to our telecom and television channel customers," S. Satish, ISRO`s director (publications and public relations), told.
Satish said a small snag that was detected earlier in one of the GSLV rocket`s sub-systems has been set right.
Though ISRO is aiming to send its remote sensing/earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2 before this year on its lighter rocket polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), officials do not discount the possibility of a launch early next year.
Piggy-backing on it will be two small satellites made in Singapore and Russia.
Remote sensing satellites send back earth pictures and other data for use. India is a major player in vending such data in the global market.
"Resourcesat-2 will be the replacement for Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003. For some time, both will work together," Satish added.
ISRO this year launched two major satellites - communication satellite GSAT-4 and remote sensing satellite Cartosat-2. While the launch of GSAT-4 failed as the GSLV rocket carrying it plunged into the sea due to engine failure, Cartosat-2 was placed successfully in the orbit.