Chennai, Feb 28  The Indian space agency will take its first step towards a manned space mission by testing its third generation heavy rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and also the crew module this year, said a top official.

K. Radhakrishnan, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said end of May or beginning of June would see the experimental flight of GSLV-Mark III rocket that would be carrying a crew module.He was the chief guest at the SRM University's Research Day function near here.

The rocket will go up to an altitude of 120 km. The crew module will be tested on its reentry into the atmosphere, he told reporters on the function's sidelines.He said the purpose of the mission is to do the characterisation of the GSLV-Mark III in the atmospheric stage of the flight.
"The rocket would touch a velocity of 5 km per second. The upper cryogenic stage will be passive," Radhakrishnan said.

He said aerodynamically the experimental rocket will be similar to the real GSLV-Mark III rocket.

On the launch of India's second navigational satellite, Radhakrishnan said the IRNSS-1B (Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System) will be launched after March 31.
According to Radhakrishnan, the navigation satellite will be moved from Bangalore to the rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh March 3.

He said the satellite will be launched using another rocket called Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

 ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan on Friday urged students to consider the benefits of a career in research in the space sector. Pointing to ISRO as a place of international imminence in space applications, he pushed the idea of students taking up a career at ISRO, given the multi-disciplinary and pioneering opportunities it presents, apart from the benefit to the people of the country.
Speaking at the Research Day celebrations at the SRM University near Chennai, Radhakrishnan outlined the achievements and vision for ISRO. He also asked the students of the University to strengthen their core skills with an eye on a career of research in the space sector. “As young engineers, it (space research) provides to you a platform where you can do inter-disciplinary, frontline technology development. And, finally, the one that will be used or will be useful for the people of the country. So, this is a place you can put your engagements for good use and then you can think of your career, take a decision on the opportunity provided by the space technology and application for a country like India,” he said.

Radhakrishnan heaped praise on SRM University for its interest in space technology, citing the launch of the SRMSAT student satellite in October 2011 aboard the PSLV-C18. The nanosatellite has completed 12,000 orbits around the Earth, and is tracked by students from a ground station on the SRM campus.The varsity’s founder and chancellor, T R Pachamuthu, however took on a different tack while speaking on the merits on a research career. “Yes, we launched it. Yes, we have received praise for it. But, how long can we keep talking about it? We need to keep doing something new in the field of research. So, I ask you to consider placing greater interest in this area,” he told the thousands of students gathered for the event.
Radhakrishnan and Pachamuthu handed over medals to the winners of competitive abstract presentation held for the varsity’s students to mark Research Day. The competition had seen the submission of over 600 abstracts from students, out of which about 500 had been shortlisted and presented.

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