With ISRO’s launch schedule growing rapidly, production has to be raised, he says

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants industry to raise its engagement with the country’s space program by helping drive production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) that ISRO needs to meet its fast expanding launch schedule in the coming years, Chairman K.Sivan said.

“Industry is one of our pillars. But we are not satisfied with the current level of industry participation,” Dr. Sivan told participants at the biennial Space Expo, BSX-2018, here on Thursday.

“Our missions are growing at a fast pace, to 59 satellites in three years. It means that instead of doing six or seven launches a year we must do almost two launches a month.
'Free ISRO up'

”Observing that partner companies stood to gain substantially from the projects, Dr. Sivan, who is also Secretary, Department of Space, exhorted industry to take up bigger and independent roles in manufacturing satellites and launchers.

This would free ISRO up to focus on pursuing new technologies and the challenge of the manned space misson, which is about 40 months away.

“Please help us in achieving this,” he said.With 85% of the launch vehicle cost and 50% of the spacecraft cost going to industries that supply components and systems to ISRO, Dr. Sivan said domestic companies stood to gain substantially. Of the ₹10,400 crore worth of launch vehicles approved a few months back, about ₹9,000 crore would go to supplier industries in the coming years.ISRO, which last year initiated a plan to convert current suppliers into independent producers of its PSLVs, is finalising ways to tie up with multiple manufacturing consortia.

Rakesh Sasibhushan, CMD of Antrix Corp., said global space commerce — estimated at about $380 billion in 2017 — is nearing double-digit growth. ISRO’s missions are also in overdrive and Indian industry has a big role in it, he added.