India is all set for the take-off of its maiden mission to the Sun by the year 2019. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman AS Kiran Kumar on Monday, during an interview at the FICCI at 90 event said, “Aditya-L1, India’s maiden mission to the Sun, will be launched in 2019”. This statement by the ISRO chief comes after he was asked about the latest space projects. While talking about the various projects under the umbrella of ISRO, Kumar said, “projects other than Chanrayan and Aditya Aditya-L1 are in the study phase.” He also said that ISRO has made some announcement of opportunities for instruments, payloads and then that evaluation will go on. He further said, “Based on these study phase activities we will do the forming up of when we will do a next venus or Mars mission or an asteroid mission.” He added, “those finalisations have to still take place.” When asked about when was the Aditya L-1 scheduled for, he said that it will be launched in 2019.
On Monday, Kiran Kumar said that the Indian Space Research Organisation is not into space tourism as it is yet to fully harness the capabilities of space technology, but private players can participate in the rapidly growing global space adventure market. Kumar said that India currently has only 42 satellites in space and ISRO is trying to increase the number of launches per year to meet the country’s increasing demands. “The Department of Space does not look at tourism as an activity. We still have not provided the capabilities from the space technology the country is looking for,” he said.
While addressing the audience at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Kumar said, “At the same time, we are trying to enable the industry, so that it can take off and can come up with the mechanism. They can take part in the global market for space tourism and adventure.” Global space tourism market is expected to grow steadily at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 14 per cent by 2021, as suggested by market analysis reports. Kumar also said that ISRO plans to launch two-three Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles and 8-10 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles, ISRO’s most trusted satellite carrier, every year.