ISRO fails on the mission of launching revised targets for 2021
This year India has been a part of only two launches. The commercial PSLV mission which took place in February was a success but the other which got launched in August as the third cryogenic stage of the launch vehicle did not start. This failure shows that India is lagging behind on its mission targets that were revised after the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The experts said that with less than 2 months it is next to impossible to go ahead with the three planned launches on schedule. Whereas on the other hand, China has been successful in launching 40 launch missions further making a global record.
“There were delays last year and the initial part of this year because ISRO was not able to get all the parts from various industries during the pandemic. However, now that the situation is better, we can hope to see more launches. However, it is unlikely that India can conduct three missions in the span of one-and-a-half months. And, if some launches were planned for November, the dates would have been announced by now. ISRO may push for one launch in December,” said Ajey Lele, senior fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
The revised plans suggested that ISRO was going to launch two missions this year using its workhorse polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) which is carrying two earth observation satellites, EOS-04 and E0S-06 as the main payload. The third mission was held as the first development flight of SSLV. And the given three missions were expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“If we are not even able to launch our own routine satellites with a fair amount of periodicity and frequency, then our ability to compete in the global space market is going to be diminished significantly. There are others who are waiting to catch onto the opportunity; we had a good market of launching small payloads that we specialise in. If we lose that market also, we will lose out on our overall revenue and the diplomatic leverage,” cautioned Dr Rajeswari Rajagopalan, director of the centre for security, strategy and technology at the Observer Research Foundation.