India set to launch GSAT-30, a heavy communication satellite, from Kourou space centre in French Guiana on board an Ariane-5 rocket of the European Space Agency (Arianespace) on January 17, 2020, according to K Sivan, ISRO Chief.
The launch of GSAT-30 from Kouru will be our first satellite in the New Year (2020) to augment capacity to provide communication links to state-run and private service providers - K. Sivan, ISRO chairman
ISRO to launch Aditya-L1 satellite
ISRO is planning to have 25 launches this year, including the Aditya-L1 satellite, which will be inserted in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point (L1), about 1.5 million km from the earth.
- Aditya will study the solar corona, which is the outer layers of the sun, extending to thousands of km above the disc (photosphere or corona).
- Aditya will also study the Chromosphere (ultra-violent) and the particle flux emanating from the sun and reaching the L1 orbit.
The corona has more than a million degree Kelvin temperature, which is higher than the solar disc temperature of 6,000K. How the corona gets heated to such high temperatures is still an unanswered question in solar physics - ISRO
Other satellite launches in 2020
Other launches during the year include SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle to place smaller satellites (500kg and less) in the earth's lower orbit, GSLV with 4-metre ogive payload fairing (heat shield), GSAT-20 satellite, NavIC with indigenous atomic clocks, Indian Data Relay Satellite System and Xposat.
During 2019, six launch vehicles and seven satellite missions were released. The year also marked the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the workhorse of the space agency.