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  • Writer's picturebidyut gogoi

Work to begin in Tamil Nadu on India's second spaceport

According to Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, vice president of the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, construction has begun to create a cutting-edge space launch port in Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu after the land acquisition for it was finished.

The new launchpad will save a lot of fuel for the Indian Space Research Organization (SRO) and serve as a specific location for Small Satellite Launch Vehicle launches (SSLV).

Why does India Need a New Spaceport ?

While Sriharikota is perfect for launching larger rockets, launching smaller rockets—like the planned ISRO Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, which is intended for launching 500kg satellites—presents a significant difficulty.

An issue arises when rockets are launched from Sriharikota into polar orbit (circling the Earth above the poles). A rocket launched from Sriharikota would have to pass through the island country of Sri Lanka on its way to the South Pole.

India's rockets are designed to undertake a manoeuvre to avoid the Lankan mainland since overflying a nation carries a significant amount of risk. As a result, the rocket makes a spin and follows a curved route rather than going straight ahead.

The rocket would have to consume a decent quantity of fuel in order to make this manoeuvre. Smaller rockets, like SSLV, would waste a significant amount of fuel by performing this manoeuvre, but bigger rockets can do it without much of an influence on the payload carrying capacity of the rocket.

Losing fuel for the turn would result in a reduction in the rocket's ability to deliver payloads. In order to avoid the possibility of overflying Lanka, India has been searching for a position from where the smaller rockets could be fired in a straight line.


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