Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SHAR)
The main launch site of the Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO). The Satish Dhawan Space Centre, also known as the
Sriharikota Range (SHAR), is located on Sriharikota Island (13.9° N,
80.3° E), about 80 km north of Chennai. This island was chosen in 1969
for setting up of a satellite launching station because of various factors;
a good launch azimuth corridor for various missions, ability to utilize
Earth's rotation for eastward launchings, nearness to the equator, and large
uninhabited area, offering a safety zone. The facilities at SDSC include
solid propellant production plant, rocket motor static test facility, launch
complexes for a variety of rockets, telemetry, telecommand, tracking, data
acquisition and processing facilities, and other support services. Range
safety restrictions on launch azimuth make it inefficient to launch into
polar orbits from here. The facility was named Satish Dhawan Space Centre
SHAR (SDSC), on September 5, 2002, in memory of Prof Satish Dhawan, former
Chairman of the ISRO.
Sriharikota Island is 17 km from the main land and is surrounded by the
Bay of Bengal on the east and the Pulikat Lake on the West. The shallow
backwaters in the Pulikat Lake attract a large number of migratory birds.
The island has a variety of flora and fauna. Several new plantations are
all along the coast and protect the island from high-speed winds during
cyclonic period. The island was inhabited by a tribal community, Yanadis,
who have been resettled within the island and also rehabilitated by providing
employment opportunities and educational facilities.