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Kulasekarapattinam’s ideal launch pad

Published Nov 13, 2013, 5:38 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 5:53 pm IST
Set up third rocket launch centre in Thoothukudi dt, urges scientist.

Chennai: Veteran scientist and former chief general manager of the Liquid Propulsion System Ce­ntre (LPSC) in Trivan­drum N. Sivasubra­ma­nian believes that an additional 400kg equ­ip­ment could have be­en sent in the Mang­al­yaan mission but for Isro’s obsession with Sathish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota.

The veteran scientist has revived the debate over establishing the co­untry’s third rocket launch centre at Kula­sekarapattinam, inste­ad of Sriharikota, wh­i­ch already has two launch centres. The association of staff of LPSC, Mahendragiri,  had even sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office.


Not­ably, DMK president M. Karunanidi had al­so written to the PMO seeking to establish the 3rd rocket launch centre at Kulaseka­ra­pa­ttinam, thanks to his MP daughter Kani­mozhi who personally took up the matter with PM and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after consulting senior scientists.

Sivasubramanian, who held the office in Mahendragiri and Va­l­l­imala among other vital Isro establishme­nts, told DC that the rocket, which put Ma­n­galyaan into orbit, co­uld have carried 1,750 kg to 1,800kg of equipment instead of 1,350 kg if it were la­un­ched from Kulase­kara­pattinam. He cit­es th­ree major reaso­ns. (i) Closeness to eq­u­ator (ii) proximity to liquid propulsion centres in Mahen­dragiri and Va­l­liamala (iii) Cond­u­ci­ve climate.

Isro top brass would have some serious answering to do, for a seven-member committee constituted last year to identify the id­eal location for the 3rd rocket launch centre, has not tabled its re­po­rt as yet.

In his Dec­em­ber 20, 2012, or­der Isro chairman K. Radha­kr­i­shnan set Fe­bruary 28, 2013, as deadline for professor K. Na­ra­yana led committee to table the report. Isro sources in the know of things revealed that the committee, had met just once since its constitution was divi­ded. While the chairman suggested some part of Krishna district, another important member wanted it in Sriharikota, sources revealed.

A PSLV rocket launched from Kulaseka­rapatti­nam could be put in orbit without a Yaw ma­neuver and even a GSLV rocket launched from there would re­quire only a 8 degree Yaw maneuver, while the same would requi­re 14 degree Yaw man­euver if launched fr­om Sriharikota, Siva­sub­ramanian reaso­ned, pointing out that instead of 300kg of ad­ditional fuel re­qui­red for the Yaw mane­uver, equipment like trans­p­onders or cameras of equal weight could be sent if launched from Kulasekarapattinam. 

Lot of money could be saved in logistics by laying a dedicated rail route from Kula­sekarapattinam to LDSC in Mahen­dra­gi­ri and Vallimala from where most equipme­nt are brought for lau­nch, instead of moving it by road to Sr­i­h­a­rikota, he added.



Location: Tamil Nadu