President Pratibha Patil visited the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) at Sriharikota on 2 January 2012 and inaugurated the new Mission Control Centre. Following the inauguration, she witnessed a simulation of the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) at the Mission Control Centre.
The new centre has been developed with state-of-the-art facilities to meet the requirements for the launch of the Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III and future missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The Mission Control Centre, situated six km away from the launch complex, will monitor and conduct launch operations during the precountdown and countdown phases until the injection of the satellite into orbit. The launch preparations on the vehicle will be monitored using a multichannel closed circuit television system.
The President on this occasion also presented ISRO awards for the year 2008 and 2009. The lifetime achievement award for contribution to the Indian space programme was conferred on former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan.