India has developed a Small Satellite launch vehicle for the lucrative global market

ISRO Chairman S Somnath informed that the space agency plans to design and build reusable rockets for the global market

India plans to develop reusable rockets for the world, government officials informed on Monday. The agency will design and build new reusable rockets for the global markets in order to cut the cost of launching satellites.

"All of us want launches to be much cheaper than what we do today," Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) S Somanath said.

The agency chief while addressing the seventh 'Bengaluru Space Expo 2022' noted that currently, it takes $10,000 to $ 15000 to put a one-kg payload into orbit. "We have to bring it down to USD 5,000 or even USD 1,000 per kg. The only way to do that is to make the rocket reusable. Today in India we don't have reusable technology yet in launch vehicles (rockets)," he said.

"So, the idea is the next rocket that we are going to build after GSLV Mk III should be a reusable rocket," he added

The agency Chairman informed that they are working on various technologies including Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) which was demonstrated last week.

“We will have to have a retro-propulsion to land it (rocket back on earth)," he said.

Somnath also informed that the idea of a reusable rocket will be a combination of the current technologies and assistance from the industry, start-ups and the agency's commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) will also be taken.

"This is the idea and we are working on that idea. That idea cannot be ISRO's alone. It has to be an industry's idea. So, we will have to work with them in designing a new rocket, not only designing it, engineering it, manufacturing it and launching it as a commercial product and operating it in a commercial manner," he said.

“So, it's a big shift from what we do today. I would like to see this (proposal) take shape in the next few months. We would like to see such a rocket, a rocket which will be competitive-enough, a rocket that will be cost-conscious, production-friendly which will be built in India but operated globally for the services of the space sector," the chairman said.

The technology is expected in the next few years as the agency is also calculating the retirement of working launch vehicles.

"This should happen in the next few years so that we can retire all those operating launch vehicles (in India) at an appropriate time," he said.