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ISRO aims for stars with low-cost launch vehicles for carrying satellites


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is in the process of making low-cost launch vehicles worth Rs 30-35 crores each, which can put satellites weighing 500kg into the orbit, said Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Deputy Director TV Haridas.

Speaking at the panel discussion at ‘EDGE 2020, The Space Conclave’ here on Friday, he said the first such launch is expected to take place in the next four months. "This capability will give ISRO a big commercial boost as it will be able to cater to micro, mini and medium segments of the market. The biggest advantage is that ISRO now can manufacture these vehicles in a turnaround time of just three weeks. ISRO has earmarked USD 1,600 million for launch vehicles of which $870 million will be for PSLV and remaining for GSLV," said Haridas.

He said that the ISRO has planned some 500 PSLV launches in the next five years. "The Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model is picking up very well in the space and defence sectors. We want to leverage it to the maximum in the coming days," he said.

Earlier, in his keynote address at a session titled 'Navigating Space Industry – Through Innovation, Agility and Collaboration', Rabin Giles, Director Innovation, CNES Connect, said there is tremendous scope for cooperation between France and India in the development of space technology. 

Moon mission: India, France can join hands

"India and France can work to set up a model for the Moon programme," said Giles. Elaborating on the cornerstones for a space deal, Giles said partnerships is the solution. According to him, space industry is a sector where ‘patience and dream’ play a big part.

Daniel Baker, Director of America’s LASP Programme, stressed the need for students from universities to take part in space research programmes. In this context he lauded the new Space Park which will be a launch-pad for exploration. The seeds of success will be in replicating the success of LASP here, he said. PSR Sastry, Director DSP, DRDO said the DRDO is trying to make cost-effective technologies work for them.

Later, in a session titled Enablers of Space Industry – Challenges and Insights into Space Regulations and Policies, Dua Associates partner Ranjan Kaul, TMT Law Practice MD Abhishek Malhotra, and Takshashila Institution co-founder Nitin Pai concurred on the need to encourage the private sector to play a potent role in the country’s space sector and the need to enact legislation for the same.