Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Current Affairs

ISRO successfully launches GSAT-17 Satellite

ISRO has successfully launched GSAT-17 communication Satellite onboard the Ariane-5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center at French Guiana on June 28. GSAT-17 will be the ISRO’s third satellite that is launched within a span of three months.

Salient Highlights

The 3,477-kg GSAT 17 communication satellite will be placed in the geostationary orbit and will have a mission life of 15 years.

The satellite will be an addition to the current fleet of 17 Indian communication satellites that are already providing services from space.

Apart from providing communication services, the satellite will provide meteorological and satellite-based data to help rescue services which were earlier provided by geostationary satellites called Indian National Satellite System (INSAT).

GSAT-17 will provide continuity of services of operational satellites in C, extended C and S bands

Once launched, ISRO’s Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh will take over and place the satellite in geostationary orbit. GSAT-17 was designed and assembled at the ISRO Satellite Centre in Bengaluru.

In addition, GSAT-17 will also launch communication satellite Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN. Hellas Sat 3 will provide directly to home television and telecom services across Europe, West Asia and South Africa. Inmarsat is set to provide in-flight Internet facilities for European airlines.

Launch Vehicle

As ISRO is yet to have a launcher that is capable of lifting payloads above 2,000 kg. ISRO has just started testing the GSLV-Mark III for this purpose.

GSAT-17 will be the 21st Indian launch for the Arianespace. ISRO’s upcoming GSAT- 11 which will weigh more than 5,000 kg will also be launched by Arianespace.

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ISRO to share technology for manufacturing of Lithium-ion batteries for production of electric vehicles

The government has directed the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to share battery technology for mass production of Lithium-Ion batteries for electric vehicles. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre under ISRO has developed indigenous technology to manufacture high-power batteries for use in two- and three-wheelers and their feasibility tests conducted by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) was found to be successful. This development is expected to push India’s electric vehicles (EV) industry.

It has been reported that many major automobile companies, battery manufacturers and public sector undertakings like Indian Oil, BHEL, Mahindra Renault, Hyundai, Nissan, Tata Motors, High Energy Batteries have approached ISRO for transfer of the battery technology so that it will enable them to produce indigenous Lithium-Ion batteries.

ISRO is soon expected to come up with a framework to make the transfer process smooth. A MoU for manufacturing batteries is expected to be soon reached between ISRO and BHEL. The cabinet secretariat has asked ISRO to develop an enabling framework to enable even interested private players to obtain the technology for mass production.

Need

Batteries are the key components for the production of electric vehicles. But, at present Lithium-ion batteries are imported from abroad which makes them very expensive. Lithium ion batteries have the advantage of being less weight, having high power, and less volume in comparison to conventional batteries. As per the government documents, bulk procurement and mass production of such batteries can reduce the cost by almost 80%. This will push the demand for such batteries and keep their prices within the reach of Indian customers.

The government strives to push for the production of more electric vehicles in order to reduce air pollution, which has become one of the biggest health concerns in recent times.

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