ISRO to build green Visitors’ Complex at Sriharikota launch site

Proposed layout of the Visitors' Complex. Image courtesy of ISRO.

India’s space agency ISRO is planning to build a Visitors’ Complex at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, where all the orbital launches for India are conducted. The agency is currently accepting proposals, and the targeted completion date of the complex is unknown.

The complex will allow members of the general public to witness launches as they happen, and is meant to generate awareness of India’s space activities. ISRO plans to accommodate at least 1.5 million visitors per year (5,000 per day), with space for 10,000 people to view each launch. Additionally, a space museum will be erected to showcase the history of India’s space programme.

Development of the Visitors’ Complex will be divided into three zones or phases, with an initial tender request for Zone 1, the first phase of the project. For this, an area of approximately 450m by 550m will be set aside for the project to accommodate a launch vehicle garden, exhibition halls, simulations, a launch view gallery, and a space theater, amongst other attractions.

Zones 2 and 3 are planned for bus tours and guided tours of various ISRO complexes, including the historic Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), and sounding rocket manufacturing complexes. Visitors to the complex will be able to view the actual launch vehicles and components.

The Visitors’ Complex will be designed to conform to Green Building and Sustainable Building standards, and will aim to meet with standards set by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). Accordingly, it will incorporate initiatives such as waste water recycling, organic waste management, rainwater harvesting systems, wind energy systems, solar-powered systems, and others.

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