Now it is official. The Indian space agency has decided to go generic in naming its communication satellites as well after earth observation satellites (EOS). On Saturday, post the successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C49 (PSLV-C49), putting into orbit India's own radar imaging satellite EOS-01 (formerly RISAT-2BR2), the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K. Sivan, said the next rocket to fly will be PSLV-C50 with CMS-01 satellite.
The acronym CMS stands for Communication Satellite and the 01 tagged to it is the serial number.
As per plans, ISRO will launch the GSAT-12R satellite using the PSLV-C50.
Sivan said the PSLV-C50 rocket will be followed by the launch of new small rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) carrying EOS-02, and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV) carrying EOS-3.
Earlier, ISRO renamed RISAT-2BR2 as Earth Observation Satellite-01 (EOS-01).
"Nowadays satellites have multiple payloads for varied users and hence a thematic satellite may be a misnomer and ISRO might have decided to go for a generic name," M. Annadurai, who retired as Director, U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), formerly ISRO Satellite Centre, had told IANS.
"Naming of the satellite should be done at the start of the project so that traceability of the components is easy and the project documentation is complete," he added.
Changing names of satellites at the time of launch could create problems at later stage if the satellite suffers some issues, he said.