India is proposing to build a 2nd spaceport in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. it will cater to ISRO’s upcoming Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has commenced land acquisition for its second launchpad in Kulasekarapattinam, a town in the Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) district of Tamil Nadu, news agency IANS reported on November 29.

News of this launchpad has been doing the rounds for a year or so but a confirmation of the scale of activities planned in the chosen area was hard to come by.

IANS also quoted Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri as saying the total land requirement will be 2,300 acres.

ISRO’s first and only spaceport, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), is located in Sriharikota, about 100 km north of Chennai, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The organisation launches its PSLV and GSLV rockets from here.

The SDSC, setup in 1971, currently has two active launchpads. Its first launchpad was decommissioned once the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle programme ended in 1994. The first of the two active pads mostly services the PSLV and the second, the GSLV, and which ISRO is currently modifying to accommodate crewed vehicle missions as part of its upcoming human spaceflight project, Gaganyaan. A third launchpad in the same premises is also in the works.