Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan on Wednesday announced India’s second spaceport for launching small satellites would be located in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district. “The Tamil Nadu government has begun acquiring about 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district for our second satellite launch port, ideally located for launching smaller satellites in the earth’s lower orbit,” the ISRO Chairman told reporters.

Thoothukudi is about 600 km southeast of Chennai. The country’s first spaceport is at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai. “The new location is ideal for launching smaller satellites of less than 500 kg in the sun-synchronous orbit,” said Sivan. The space agency will outsource making of the small satellites to the private industry.

“The smaller satellites will be initially launched from Sriharikota and subsequently to the second launch port when ready with all the facilities,” added Sivan.