India to Increase Booster Processing Capability

GSLV Mk III booster lifts off. (Credit: ISRO)

ISRO will be able to increase its annual launch output once a second vehicle assembly building is completed at the end of the year, an agency official said.

Talking to TOI, Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said, “Because of just one vehicle assembly building, final assembling of components (stages of rockets) was a bottleneck. Therefore, the second vehicle assembly building is being constructed. The work on the building is nearly complete and by the end of this year, it will become operational. With the new assembly facility, we will be able to assemble parallelly the launch vehicle and bring it to existing two launchpads. It will thus help boost the launch capability of the Sriharikota centre.”

On planning to build a third launchpad at Sriharikota Range (SHAR), a spindle-shaped island on the east coast of Andhra Pradesh, the Isro chairman said, “We have not reached the limit of two launchpads. With the new assembly facility, we will be able to assemble more vehicles. Once we are able to assemble more rockets but not able to launch them even by reducing launch timings, then we will start work on the third launchpad. But for that, we first need (government’s) approval. So, we are gradually working to eliminate all bottlenecks to increase the frequency of launches.” With the new facility, Isro can achieve launch 12 rockets in a year from the seven at present.

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