ISRO Roadmap For 2020-2021

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Context: On February 15, 2020, ISRO published its annual report 2019-20. According to the report, the Indian Space Research Organization will launch 10 Earth Observation Satellites in 2020-21. It includes the first Geo Imaging Satellite, GISAT-1. 

Prelims: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains: GS III-

  • Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • The report says that 18 communication satellites, 19 national Earth Observation satellites and eight navigation satellites are in service. Out of these, 3 of these communication satellites are dedicated to military communication.
  • For the year 2019-20, ISRO had planned for 17 missions. Out of these, six are yet to be completed and are expected to be completed by March 31, 2020.
Annual Plan
  • According to the report, ISRO has planned 36 missions in the upcoming year.
  • It includes six Earth Observation satellites. The organization also has plans to add 8 Earth Observation satellites in 2021-22.
  • The Earth Observation satellites to be launched includes RISAT-2BR2.
  • The RISAT-2BR2 with its fleet of predecessors RISAT-2B and RISAT-2B1 will be placed 120 degrees apart.
  • RISAT is Radar Imaging Satellites that provide all-weather surveillance using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radars).
GISAT-1 (Geo Imaging Satellite)
  • About:
    • GEO Imaging Satellite or GISAT is a planned Indian geo-imaging satellite class for providing images quickly during disasters. Two identical satellites will provide resolution in the range of 50 m to 1.5 km. It will carry multi-spectral (visible, near infra-red and thermal), multi-resolution (50 m to 1.5 km) imaging instruments.
  • Abilities:
    • GISATs will feature 5 different types of multi-spectral cameras and provide near real-time pictures of large areas of the country, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals which are, selected field images every 5 minutes and entire Indian landmass image every 30 minutes at 50 m spatial resolution.

  • Schedule:
    • According to an official release, GISAT-1 is planned to be launched on 5th March 2020 aboard GSLV MKII rocket.
  • Design Life:
    • 7 years
  • Type:
    • Earth Observation Satellite (EO) [The satellite used or designed for Earth observation from orbit, similar to spy satellites but intended for non-military uses such as environmental monitoring, meteorology, map making, etc]
  • Regime:
    • Geostationary [A geostationary orbit, also referred to as a geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometers (22,236 miles) above Earth's equator and following the direction of Earth's rotation.
    • Communications satellites are often placed in a geostationary orbit so that Earth-based satellite antennas (located on Earth) do not have to rotate to track them but can be pointed permanently at the position in the sky where the satellites are located.
    • These are launched via a temporary orbit, and placed in a slot above a particular point on the Earth's surface. ]
  • Application:
    • With this satellite, which has high-resolution cameras, we can keep a constant watch on our borders, monitor any changes in the geographical condition of the country.
    • The EO sats are apparently for benign uses such as land and agriculture watch.
    • But their images also have a very important use for the military, for keeping an eye on the borders.


  • On Chandrayaan-2, the failed lunar landing of the project owing to technical reasons, ISRO had planned to repeat the project.
  • “The government has already approved the [Chandrayaan-3] project. They are planning to relaunch the project within a year.
Space station
  • ISRO is expected to develop its own space station within a decade.
  • “ISRO scientists are making every effort to develop our own space station. Hopefully, in the next ten years, India will have its own space station like the U.S. and China,” Dr. Srivastav said. To achieve this gigantic target, preparations are already underway at ISRO. He said ISRO had planned to first send two unmanned spacecraft within a couple of years, and later a crewed mission in the third phase.
  • “Our astronauts are already undergoing training in Russia. After the completion of their training, they will be part of the first manned mission. The success of the mission will open new avenues for the setting up of our own space station, which will be possible within a decade from now,” he said.
  • Srivastav said that as a space scientist, he was hopeful that life existed in some or the other form somewhere in the galaxy. “We are searching for them, and possibly they are searching for us, and hopefully someday we will meet.”

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