New launchpad at Sriharikota to boost ISRO's launch capacity
ISRO's launch capacity will soon receive a boost as the launchpad center at the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota will get a second vehicle assembly building by the end of this year. The new facility will also help assemble the launch vehicles in parallel; thus bringing it to the existing two launchpads. Also, more vehicles could be assembled with this new center.
The final assembling of components (stages of rockets) will be much easier with the new facility in place, said ISRO's chairman AS Kiran Kumar. It will also help ISRO achieve the target launch of 12 rockets a year from 7 at present. The ISRO chairman further stated that a third launchpad is being considered but government's approval is required for the same.
ISRO has constantly been challenging its limitations and off late has become a prevalent spot for lightweight satellite launches. Due to its popularity, it has also been able to make money by selling its rockets' spare payload space through its commercial wing, Antrix.
Having launched 104 satellites in one go on February 15 and then launching country's heaviest rocket GSLV Mk III on June 5, ISRO has been achieving one milestone after the other. One of the several other achievements by ISRO was launching of world's smallest interstellar spacecraft known as Sprites. Sprites, launched on June 23, achieved success communicating with systems on the planet.