Thursday, July 8, 2010

PICTURES: Indian Space Transportation System - Present Scenario and Future Directions

The presentation titled 'Indian Space Transportation System - Present Scenarion and Future Directions' presented by Dr. B.N.Suresh on 19th June, 2009 at TIFR, Mumbai. Credit:ISRO Click on the slideshow for larger images.

Important Observations:
  • Slide 20 gives us an idea of the Indian interplanetary missions on the drawing board. The slide also gives the orbital and fly-by payload capacities of PSLV, GSLV and GSLV -Mk III to Mars, Venus and Asteroid (very vague definition in this case) respectively. The approximate date for robotic missions to Venus and asteroids is mentioned in Slide 34 as 2018 (Interplanetary missions beyond Mars). The Martian mission according to ISRO will take place only after 2015.
  • Slide 20 mentions the performance specifications of GSLV-Mk III i.e 4.5 tons to GTO and 10 tons to 400 km LEO. In addition it clearly specifies the growth potential to as 5 to 6 tons to GTO, a previously speculated figure. Slide 14 illustrates the flight sequence of Mk III.
  • Slide 25-Slide 28 gives some information of the RLV program. Slide 25 is the image of RLV-TD. Slide 26 shows the RLV with an air-breathing engine. Slides 27 and 28 shows the configuration and flight profile of an RLV-TSTO (Two Stage to Orbit) version.
  • Slides 29-33 has information regarding the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The slides give information about the crew vehicle and the human-rated GSLV that would launch it and the mission profile. Slide 33 has already been discussed in detail in an earlier post.


  1. I found Slides 28 and 34 to be the most informative to me. I'd read about the TSTO before, but I wasn't sure exactly what the flight profile was, and whether TSTO was exactly the same as AVATAR (it's not - it's the precursor - a flyback booster). So based on Slide 34, then AVATAR will be an air-breathing SSTO derivative of the TSTO. The flight profile shown on Slide 28 also shows how the upper stage could be fully reusable as well, making a powered rocket landing. That would be useful for a mission to the Moon, Mars, Venus, or even Titan or Europa.