Pvt sector to get Rs 9K cr for space launch vehicles

Pvt sector to get Rs 9K cr for space launch vehicles

A bonanza awaits the private sector in space vehicle manufacturing. Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Sivan on Thursday said the private industry will get over Rs 9,000 crore out of the Rs 10,400 crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the manufacture of 40 launch vehicles.

At the launch of the sixth edition of Bengaluru Space Expo-2018 (BSX-2018) here, Sivan invited the industry to grab this opportunity, graduating from being a vendor to an active manufacturing partner. “Over the next three years, 59 satellites will be launched. Isro's costs will be very huge. It cannot stick to the time frames without the industry,” said Sivan.

The industry has already moved up from making spares to building subsystems. This will be extended to small satellites and rockets. “Small satellite launchers will make a big impact with enormous use in communications. These will be easy to productionise. The industry will have to take our load.”

Sivan talked about Isro's plan to mass produce, with active industry support, small satellite launchers that could rocket 500 to 700kg satellites to low-orbits. “These small satellite vehicles can be totally integrated in 72 hours, and will be autonomous in adapting itself. The requirement is for 50 to 60 such vehicles every year,” he said.

Isro wants the industry to partner with it for making SSLV, PSLV and satellites, so that the space agency could devote fully to its ambitious manned mission project, Gaganyaan over the next four years. Sivan explained, “Gaganyaan project is new to Isro as life science, selection of crew and their safety is involved. It will boost Isro's capability.”

To boost industry partnership, Isro is also in the process of building six incubation centres across the country. “We want to involve small-scale industries and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. We want to use the best brains,” said Sivan.

Jean Yve Le Gall, president of the French space agency CNES, spoke about Indo-French partnerships in satellites, launchers and planetary exploration. “We will be doing the same for the human spaceflight,” he said.

Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Isro and its commercial wing Antrix, BSX-2018, will stay alive at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) till September 8.