Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport

Kulasekarapattinam in Thoottukudi (Tuticorin) district of Tamilnadu is entering to India’s space map, as country’s space infrastructure expands at a rapid pace with its world renowned name in cost-effective satellite launches. Since the emergence of space industries in twentieth century, world countries had used its space prowess as a key tool to show their global strength and power.

Kulasekarapattinam becomes country’s second spaceport after Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of the spaceport on 28 February, 2024. Kulasekarapattinam is more strategically located than Sriharikotta and fuel efficient to launch small satellites as it possesses a direct southward launch, in spite of eastward launch to evade Srilankan airspace.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) Centre

According to ISRO officials, Kulasekarapattinam Spaceport will exclusively assign for small satellites and private satellites. ISRO has already developed SSLV to launch small satellites weighing less than 500 kg  and travel a long distance from Sriharikotta to Indian Ocean around Srilanka will cost more fuel thus reduces the payload capacity. ISRO scientists have done research which confirmed a new Spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam will make it easier to launch sufficient payloads into orbit with less fuel.

Strategic Location

Apart from the ease of direct southward launch, Kulasekarapattinam and Thoottukudi district in Tamilnadu is blessed with many benefits for establishing a spaceport. It is a coastal area with sparsely populated, thus minimalise civilian casualties and material destruction in case of any failures or explosions. Kulasekarapattinam is better sheltered from cyclone storms of Bay of Bengal due to the presence of land mass of Srilanka. Cyclone storms and related natural calamities are prevalent in the east coast of India and even Sriharikotta
is not protected from cyclones. Soil erosion is a major threatening issue in Sriharikotta Satish Dhawan Space Centre. ISRO Propulsion Complex which is a major testing hub of ISRO’s liquid propulsion system at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district is just 80 kilometres away from Kulasekarapattinam. Trivandrum International Airport and Madurai Airport are located at a distance of 160 and 185 kilometres respectively. Thoothukudi port is just one hour distance from the Spaceport. It is easily accessible from International Sea route in south of India.

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