India’s second spaceport at Kulasekharapattanam (TN)

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Source-This post on India’s second spaceport at Kulasekharapattanam (TN) has been created based on the article Modi lays stone for India’s second spaceport at Kulasekarapa published in “Times of India” on 29th February 2024.

Why in the news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the country’s second spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam in in Tuticorin district.

About India’s second spaceport

Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport - News and discussions | Indian Defence Forum

1. About: A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching or receiving spacecraft, by analogy to a seaport for ships or an airport for aircraft.

2. Location: India’s second spaceport is being established in Kulasekarapattinam, a coastal village in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu.

Note: Kulasekharapatnam situated in the Thoothukudi district, is an ancient port town dating back to the 1st century AD.

3. The new spaceport is dedicated to Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLVs) developed by the private sector.

4. Indian Space Research Organization launched a Rohini sounding rocket from a mobile launch pad to mark the beginning of work at the site.

Reasons why launching sites are generally located on the Eastern Coast: 

1. The eastern coast location offers several benefits for rocket launches:

a. Fuel Savings: Launching rockets from the eastern coast harnesses Earth’s rotation, granting them initial velocity and reducing fuel requirements for orbit.

b. Equatorial Position: The spaceport’s proximity to the Equator further enhances launch efficiency. Rockets launched closer to the Equator receive an additional boost from the Earth’s rotational speed, making it easier to reach orbit.

The new spaceport advantages over the Sriharikota facility:

1. Eliminating Diversion Due to Sri Lanka’s Airspace:

a. Currently, rockets launched from the existing spaceport at Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh)  must head east before turning south. This trajectory is necessary to avoid flying over the airspace of neighboring Sri Lanka.

b. Rockets can now take a more direct path without encroaching on Sri Lanka’s airspace, enhancing launch efficiency.

2. Proximity to Isro’s Propulsion Complex:

a. Isro’s propulsion complex is located in Mahendragiri, which is much closer to Kulasekarapattinam (approximately 88 km) than to Sriharikota (approximately 780 km).

b. This proximity facilitates the transportation of rocket components, reducing both time and cost.

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