SDSC SHAR, the Space Port of India provides the world class launch base infrastructure for integration and launching of Indian Satellites and Foreign customer Satellites. In an endeavour to facilitate the General Public to witness the launches and also to generate greater awareness about its space programmes which are beneficial to all sections of the society it is proposed to establish a Visitors’ Complex at Sriharikota.
2. The Broad Vision for Visitors’ Complex is:
a) To accommodate maximum number of visitors without affecting the launch campaign activities.
b) Showcasing the activities of ISRO and SDSC SHAR in a concise manner.
c) Preserving and renovating the heritage structures of SDSC SHAR during the transformation from an Island to Space Port of India. This will also enable memories of great contributions during the early stages of Space Programme of India.
d) This complex shall be aimed to ignite the young minds towards the scientific oriented research activities by live demos of Solar system, Universe, significant achievements of Indian and International Space Programme and applications of space technology etc.
e) The facilities of visitor’s complex shall be sufficient to accommodate two million visitors per annum.
3. About Visitor’s Complex:
The proposed Visitor Complex is configured to receive 1.5 million visitor per annum. That would be approximately 5000 visitor per day and on the launch day it will offer 10,000 public to witness the launch. Considering the above targeted visitors, the facilities inside the Visitor Complex are configured with sufficient parking space and other essential amenities such as restrooms, space shops, restaurants, ATMs, medical & first aid facilities.
The Visitor Complex will tell the story of ISRO and Indian Space Programme by hosting the many world class facilities and experiences. It maintains the large collection of historic launch vehicles and satellites. The museum features many exhibition galleries, displaying hundreds of artefacts including ISRO central, engines, rockets, on board components, hall of fame, future of human spacewalk, early space exploration, International space arena, etc.
Since, the exhibits and attractions will be added/improved time to time, the Visitor Complex master plan and facilities are configured to easy expandable type. Forecasting these needs and requirement an area of 450m x 550m (approx.) is proposed for the Visitor Complex.
All the vehicles shall be parked outside the theme park, no vehicles shall be allowed inside the Visitor Complex. The proposed theme and operations of the Visitor Complex is divided into three zones. Zone-1 focuses on the launch vehicle garden, exhibitions halls, simulations, theme concepts, launch view gallery, hall of fame, space theatre, future of human, etc., which will be open for all the days. Zone-2, is a bus tour, which will focus on the heritage of Indian Space Programme involving the guided tour of visitors to SLV, ASLV and SRC complex. The Zone-3 is also a bus tour to visit operational launch pads. Zone-2 and Zone-3 are guided tours and no personal vehicle is allowed inside the Visitor Complex. Hop-off services are provide at ASLV, SLV & Sounding Rocket Complex. There is no drop off and/or pickup from launch complex, these facilities shall be shown from bus itself.
The present scope of the architectural consultancy is limited to Zone-1 only, which includes the following.
The major facilities at Zone–1 are:
a) Information Centre & Entrance Security Screening: Visitors will be guided to the main entrance, where they will follow the security procedures and safety regulations. Entrance plaza will consist of ticketing booth, security screening, cafeteria, souvenir shops, food courts, and information center. At the main entrance there will also be a resting lounge and restrooms for people who wish to refresh or stay back and wait for their group(s) to return.
b) Launch view gallery: The Space Port of India, naturally attracts the visitors to witness the launch activities and cheer for the pride of our Nation. At present, there are no appropriate facilities for accommodating more number of visitors to view the launch at Sriharikota. Hence, launch view gallery to accommodate 10,000 visitors is proposed in a semicircular frustum shape, which would enable the visitors to have the clear view of the Launchpad area. The Auditorium will be equipped with large display and speakers to showcase all the ongoing activities and news. During the non-launch period –lectures, interactive sessions and children space activities will be organized.
c) Rocket Garden: All the 1:1 ratio of beautiful ISRO launch vehicles –Sounding Rocket, SLV, ASLV, PSLV, GSLV, Mk-III will be realised with a provision to go inside. Lawns will be developed along with photo points. Fountain will be realised at the middle of the rocket garden.
d) Space Museum: Space Museum provides a tell-tale account of the Indian Space Programme from its infancy. The story of the Indian Space Programme is unfurled in six sections, comprising of history, education, technology, applications, global and the future.
The museum will be divided into the following subjective areas: The history of Indian Space programme development and accumulated numerous achievements shall be showcased. The past, present and future of ISRO will be depicted with space transportation systems and satellite programme. Future of Indian Space programme, Mission planning, Rocket engines and its working principles, Human spaceflight, various ISRO Centre activities on Space science & solar system exploration and development fundamental space research & development will be displayed.
The space transportation system gives an overview of ISRO’s launch vehicles showcasing the actual engines used for flight qualification testing and scaled working models and other major components of launch vehicle such as casings, heat shield, onboard computers/electronics, etc.
As part of this pavilion, application of satellite technology for communications, disaster management and earth observation will be highlighted. Further, an overview of the GTO mission and its achievement of communication satellite and positioning satellites including the test model of the NAVIC will be realised. In similar lines, an overview of the SSO mission and its achievement of earth observation satellites including a test model of IRS will be realised.
In order to bring the awareness in the cutting edge R&D in space, space science and solar system exploration pavilion will be realised which highlight the space science, Lunar missions, Mars mission, Astrosat mission and Aditya mission including a test model.
As part of fundamental research and development Physics laboratory, new challenges of space utilisation will be brought out by displaying the real equipment used for spacecraft. Rocket technology with virtual experience of launch vehicle travel and Human space flight with virtual experience will be realised in this section. The journey to Mars –virtual experience along with long range space observatory will be available. Hall of Fame –Posters & Exhibits of International Space, Future of Human –extra vehicular activities, InterPlanetary missions, Galaxy, etc will be shown thematically.
e) Children Activity: Virtual Interview with eminent personalities/experts like Chairman, ISRO and Centre Directors based on the selected topic. Working models and virtual themes explaining, orbiting the earth, exploring the universe, built your own rocket, built your own satellites and in space satellite operations.
f) The Space Theatre: Visitors will have the chance to see the universe from close quarters. The experience will be much more than merely seeing the stars in the sky in a planetarium. This will be an ultra-modern hemispherical domed Space Theatre which promises an amazing voyage of discoveries in universe to the visitors. Experience the launch in a real world scenario with a simulation of vibration and sound. It will also show a 15 Mins film of Rocket launch from Sriharikota with physical effects and visuals from the satellite camera clearing the Earth atmosphere and entering space. The film starts from the MCC launch countdown showing all the delegates and scientists witnessing the launch and ends at MCC after a successful launch. Planned capacity of the Space Theatre will be 2x250 persons. Apart from this scientific fiction documentaries will be screened.
4. FEATURES OF VISITOR COMPLEX
The Visitor Complex will be visited by huge public and will become the scientific destination in future. Keeping this into consideration, the following features will be considered while building planning and design.
Green building concept, capable of being remodeled to suit new exhibits or special events like National seminars/festivals. Restaurants and Shops will be modular type and will be provided at all the facilities. Sufficient rest rooms, waiting halls and seating arrangement will be provided. Special feature shall be for children activity. Personnel movement & shows will be addressed in such a way that no stagnation of crowd inside the complex. Limited accommodation will be provided at the entrance plaza of the Complex.
The facilities of the proposed Visitor Complex is capable to handle 5000 visitors per day. Ample parking space will be provided for car parking area. No personnel vehicles shall be allowed inside the Visitor Complex. The following security & safety arrangements are considered.
The entire area from Gate-I to Visitor Complex and to Heritage zone shall be covered with CCTV and Intrusion detection system.
- Airport type security arrangements will be adopted at the entrance plaza.
- Reception help desk/Information cell.
- Baggage drop point -Other than hand baggage no baggage is allowed inside the Visitor Complex.
- Check for proper identity at the entry followed by Baggage scanning & frisking.
- Enter into the main lobby area for ticketing.
- First Aid Centres/Emergency medical services shall be provided.
- Emergency exits, meeting point, FDA and Firefighting systems shall be part of building design & plan as per the standard codes of practice
So to summarize, this large Visitors Complex will consist of 3 major zones:
Zone-1 will be the area shown in the illustration above. It will have a "rocket garden" featuring life size models of major ISRO launch vehicles. There will also be a space museum featuring the past, present and future of ISRO activities. There will also be a space theatre, which will double as a planetarium and also show space-related movie content. There will also be restaurants, shops, and some accommodations. The most amazing thing there will be the huge launch view gallery, which will permit thousands of people to directly watch the actual rocket launches live.
Zone-2 will be ISRO's old defunct heritage launch site for the old SLV & ASLV launchers, which will be accessible by tour bus, for people to get off and walk around.
Zone-3 refers to ISRO's currently active launch facilities, which tour buses will travel through without stopping or letting people out.
It seems this Visitors Complex will likely be completed before or by the 2022 target date for the first Human Spaceflight launch.
I'll tell you what - let's all meet up there in person to watch that first manned launch together. ☺