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New launch pad for human space flights soon: ISRO

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ISRO's existing launch pad.

HYDERABAD (PTI): ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota will soon initiate the process of creating Third Launch Pad for human transportation into space, SHRC Director Chandra Datttan said on Tuesday during Republic Day celebrations.

After unfurling the Tricolour at the SDSC, he said the work may start in six months with an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

The Third Launch Pad is required for the 2015 Human Space Flight Mission and beyond, a senior Official of ISRO said adding the launch pad would be designed to accommodate the Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV), ISRO's dream space shuttle.

The present launch pads would not support human programmes and the third pad would cater to all our future space programmes, the official said. The SDSC has already completed the configuration studies for the Third Pad and the process would be initiated by calling competitive bidding.

He did not rule out the possibility of using the pad for commercial purpose.

“We are launching private and foreign satellites through our sister concern Antrix Corporation. So there should not be any problems using the pad for sending astronauts belong to other countries,” the official said.

The first Launch Pad, which became operational in 1971, is being used for PSLV launches. The Second Pad, which is operational since 2005 would facilitate launching of advanced satellites till the next decade.

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