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Seven Mega Missions by ISRO

Seven Mega Missions by ISRO

ISRO recently announced seven mega missions slated for the next decade. They’ve also set new deadlines for several major missions.

About Seven Mega Missions by ISRO

ISRO has planned seven mega missions, including Chandrayaan-2, to be conducted over a period of 10 years.

  • Currently, humans have fully defined only two space missions: XPoSat and Aditya-L1.
  • There are four other missions in the planning stage: Mangalyaan-2, Venus mission, Lunar Polar Exploration, and Exoworlds.
  • XPoSat, scheduled for launch in 2020, aims to explore cosmic radiation.
  • Aditya-L1, set for a 2021 launch, will journey to the Sun to enhance our understanding of climate change on Earth. Its instruments will specifically study the solar corona, which influences Earth’s upper atmosphere and thus impacts climate change.
  • Aditya-L1 will be positioned in a ‘libration orbit‘ approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, which is roughly 1% of the distance between the Sun and Earth. This unique orbit allows the spacecraft to continuously face the Sun as it circles along with Earth.
  • XPoSat’s mission duration is planned for five years. It will carry a polarimeter instrument developed by the Raman Research Institute to measure cosmic radiation. The spacecraft will orbit Earth in a circular path ranging from 500 to 700 kilometers above the surface.

Issues/ Challenges

  • The COVID-19 pandemic significantly slowed down operations at the space agency, causing repeated delays in the plans for all three scientific missions scheduled for 2023.
  • This pandemic not only affected the launch schedules but also hampered various activities within the agency.
  • Over the past two years, there were only two launches in 2020 and 2021, highlighting the impact of the pandemic on the space agency’s ability to conduct missions and launches.
  • ISRO faces various constraints, including scientific, technological, infrastructure, and budgetary limitations, which hinder its ability to launch a significantly larger number of satellites to meet the diverse needs of civilian, commercial, and military sectors.
  • There are deficits in both technical capacity and manpower within ISRO, which pose challenges to its production capabilities and overall strength in executing missions effectively.
  • In the realm of launching small satellites, which represents a growing market, ISRO faces tough competition from SpaceX’s Falcon 9, owned by Elon Musk.
  • The Falcon 9 poses a credible threat to ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which the agency has relied on as a dependable workhorse.


  • These missions are critical for ISRO as it will demonstrate India’s capabilities to make landings for further interplanetary missions.
  • These missions will be the benchmark for temperature data at best resolution and repeatability globally.
  • These missions will demonstrate advanced technologies developed in-house, showcasing our innovation and expertise.

Way forward

  • The space agency has already sent two rockets into space this year. One of them was carrying an earth observation satellite from India, while the other had a Singaporean earth observation satellite as its main cargo.
  • India has an advantage because it costs less to operate here compared to other places. If we clear away some of the bureaucratic hurdles, it will become easier for foreign investors to put money into our space industry.
  • ISRO has the opportunity to lead the charge in letting private companies take the reins on launching small satellites into space.

Read Also: Space Research Centres in India

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