Space Docking Experiment
Spacecraft properties
Start of mission
Launch date2021 (planned)
Launch siteSatish Dhawan Space Centre

SPADEX or Space Docking Experiment is a twin spacecraft mission being developed by Indian Space Research Organisation to mature technologies related to orbital rendezvous, docking, formation flying and remote robotic arm operations, with scope of applications in human spaceflight, in-space satellite servicing and other proximity operations.[1]

SPADEX campaign would consist of two IMS-2 class (400 kg) satellites, one would be Chaser and other being Target and both would be launched as co-passengers or auxiliary payloads.[2] Both spacecraft would be injected into slightly different orbits.[3]

Space Docking Experiment is currently scheduled for launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre aboard a Polar Satellite launch Vehicle.[4][5][6]


  • Autonomous rendezvous and docking
  • Controlling one spacecraft with Attitude Control System of other spacecraft while in docked configuration.[1]
  • Formation flying
  • Remote robotic arm operations[citation needed]


With preliminary studies done in 2016,[7] Space Docking Experiment was approved by Government of India with initial funding of ₹10 crore cleared in 2017.[8] In June 2019, ISRO was looking for proposals to study remote robotic arm operation, rendezvous and docking related technologies on its PSLV fourth stage (PS4) orbital platform.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Department of Space Annual Report 2018-19" (PDF). 27 May 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Department of Space Outcome Budget 2013-14" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2013.
  3. ^ Chacko, T.; B P, Dakshayani; Vighnesam, N.; Gopinath, N.S. (2012-01-01). "Relative state vector generation algorithm for on board navigation for rendezvous docking experiment". 7: 5313–5316. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Ramesh, M. "ISRO's space docking experiment to happen next year, says Sivan". @businessline. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  5. ^ "5 Unique Space Science Missions That ISRO Will Be Flying in the Near Future". The Wire. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  6. ^ Oct 3, Surendra Singh | TNN | Updated; 2019; Ist, 2:21. "Isro to hold space-docking experiment next year, a step towards setting up space station | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-10-03.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ May 2, Chethan Kumar | TNN | Updated; 2017; Ist, 12:01. "ISRO: Isro project that can aid refuel, repair of satellites in space gets push | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-10-02.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Detailed Demands for Grants of Department of Space for 2018-2019" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Orbital platform: An avenue for in-orbit scientific experiments" (PDF). 15 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 October 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.