The Prime Minister of India, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, annouced during the condolence meeting held for Dr Kalpana Chawla at Parliament Annexe, New Delhi, yesterday (February 5, 2003) that India's meteorological series of satellites, METSAT, will be named as KALPANA.
The first of the series, METSAT-1, launched by India's PSLV on September 12, 2002 by India's PSLV, will be now known as KALPANA-1.
METSAT is the first exclusive meteorological satellite built by ISRO. So far, meteorological services had been combined with telecommunication and television services in the INSAT system. METSAT will be a precursor to the future INSAT system that will have separate satellites for meteorology and telecommunication & broadcasting services. This will enable large capacity to be built into INSAT satellites, both in terms of transponders and their radiated power, without the design constraints imposed by meteorological instruments.