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ISRO planning second development SSLV flight next month

The Indian Space Research Organisation is set to test a space-based aircraft monitoring system when it undertakes a development flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in February, according to senior officials.

The SSLV, aimed at launching up to 500 kg satellites in planar orbit, was unsuccessful in its first development flight on August 7 last year.

If successful, the flight will allow ISRO to provide an on-demand satellite launch system.

"I cannot give you a specific date, but we are planning a test flight next month," ISRO chairman S Somanath told reporters on the sidelines of the 108th Indian Science Congress.

He said India was also planning scientific missions to Mars and Venus besides attempting a land rover to the moon sometime this year.

"The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is almost ready. The orbiter, lander and rover. But we are waiting for the right time to launch the mission, which is sometime in June. We will try to meet that launch window," Somanath said.

A senior ISRO official said the space agency will also test the satellite-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver system onboard the SSLV next month.

"The ADS-B receiver gets all details of an aircraft. Currently, the Air Traffic Controller gets these signals. But there are certain blind spots -- about 30 per cent of airspace across the globe -- where ATC doesn't have access. Now, we have developed a space-based ADS-B technology," D K Singh, Deputy Director, Advanced Technology Area, Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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