Govt confirms proposal of new rocket launchpad in Tamil Nadu
Centre today confirmed in Rajya Sabha that it has a proposal to set up a space rocket launching pad near Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

New Delhi (NVI): In a development that may revive a long-standing demand of a sizeable section of space scientists and Tamil polity, the Centre today confirmed in Rajya Sabha that it has a proposal to set up a space rocket launching pad near Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu.

The confirmation about the proposal was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh here.

In the backdrop of the need for more satellites in the modern times, ISRO is aiming to expand its launching capabilities and was looking for options.

According to experts, scientists after the feasibility study prefer Kulasekarapattinam as a good location for a rocket that needs to fly southwards.

In fact, Kulasekarapattinam was long ago considered for locating a rocket launching site but the locals opposed this.

A rocket launch site should be on the east coast and near the equator. And Tuticorin district satisfies that condition.

According to experts, a spaceport in Kulasekarapattinam will be ideal for putting satellites in polar orbit normally undertaken through ISRO’s polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) and not for satellites for geostationary orbits undertaken by the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV). Kulasekarapattinam, a busy port a century ago is now mostly deserted and ideal for setting up a large project like this.

According to experts, if launched from Kulasekarapattinam, Mangalyan could have carried 1,800 kg of equipment instead of 1,350 kg. Its closeness to the equator, proximity to the Liquid Propulsion Centre in Mahendragiri and the conducive climate make Kulasekarapattinam an ideal place for setting up India’s next space-launch site, say the experts.

-nad