2019: A year of several new beginnings for Indian space sector
CHENNAI: The year 2019 was a year of several new beginnings for India's space sector that is now on Mission 2.0 mode.
The year also saw the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) scoring a couple of half centuries, like putting into orbit 50 foreign satellites and also sending up its 50th Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
However, the one jarring note in the success symphony was the crash landing of India's moonlander Vikram on the lunar surface.
The year also saw Isro and Department of Space (DoS) taking firm steps towards setting up of second rocket launch pad in Tamil Nadu; flying Indian rockets with indigenously developed navigation processor chip; formation of NewSpace India Limited to involve private sector in making rockets and also taking over the commercial activities of Antrix Corporation.
The NewSpace India had issued an Expression of Interest (Eol) for first manufacturing five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rockets from private sector.
The year 2019 witnessed the Isro touching the mark of 319-foreign satellite launches; deciding to go for another moon landing mission called Chandrayaan-3; setting up Human Space Flight Centre; starting the young scientist programme; signing agreement with Indian Air Force (IAF) to select and train Indian astronauts for the country's manned mission.