ISRO to build fourth stage rockets that remain functional months after launch

ISRO plans on making good use of the space debris.

    Rocket junk that floats around the Earth may not be relevant to the world, but that doesn't mean it is entirely useless. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has some plans for that junk. The space agency might test a new type of PSLV rocket that will be functional in orbit for several months after releasing a satellite in the orbit.

    ISRO to build fourth stage rockets that remain functional after launch

     

    ISRO will be putting this technology to test for the first time during its PSLV C44 launch mission in January 2019. Until now, the launches have ended in the satellite being released in the orbit and the PS4 is lost as space debris. It rotates in the same orbit after the satellite is released, but is of no use to anyone or anything.

    "We are working on a new technology where we will give life to this 'dead' last stage of PSLV, also called the PS4 stage, for six months after launch," K Sivan, chairman of ISRO told the Times of India.

    "This rocket will double up as a satellite. It will be a cost-effective way to perform experiments in space as we don't have to launch separate rockets for this purpose," Sivan added.

    This will also mark as the first time any space agency has developed a technology that will make use of the space debris. It will be implemented for the first time with ISRO's upcoming PSLV C44 launch mission that is meant to send a microsatellite to low-Earth orbit.

    ISRO is also said to take proposals from students, scientists and firms that are willing to send their space experiments with the PSLV rockets.

    Besides, SpaceX' Falcon 9 recently took India's India's first privately built satellite Exseed Sat-1 to space alongside 63 other satellites that were built across the world.

    The small communication satellite was built by a Mumbai-based startup called Exseed Space. The satellite aims to serve the amateur radio in India. This is also the first time a privately-built satellite from India is sent into space.

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