- NewSpace India Ltd, the new public sector space business company, on Friday launched a formal search for industry consortia which can regularly manufacture and deliver entire PSLV satellite launch vehicles for its parent, the Indian Space Research Organisation.
- It will initially outsource five PSLVs — Indian rockets that can lift light payloads to ‘low earth orbits’ some 600 km in space. NSIL has called a pre-bid meeting of potential parties on August 26.
More details on PSLV
- PSLV is ISRO’s workhorse to put light payloads to space & has had 46 successful launches since 1994, the latest being in April 2019.
- It can put 1750-kg payloads/spacecraft to polar orbits 600 km away; & 1450-kg payloads to sub-geosynchronous orbits of around 1500 km
- HAL, L&T, Godrej Aerospace, MTAR and hundreds of small and big companies supply various PSLV parts
- A global commercial favourite for launching small satellites in spare capacity of the rocket; has launched nearly 300 mostly small foreign satellites and earned handsomely from them
- The PSLV had a 2-3-year commercial order of around 800-900 crore from foreign satellite operators, according to 2018 figures of ISRO’s older business arm Antrix Corporation which handled commercial launches before NSIL was created.
- The four-stage PSLV is needed to place both Indian remote sensing satellites and small satellites of foreign customers to space.
- For almost a decade, it has been planning to hand the production over to public and private industries and itself focus on its core job of space R&D.
- On the satellite side, groups of industries are already helping ISRO in AIT at the Bengaluru-based U.R. Rao Satellite Centre and have produced a couple of mid-sized satellites.
- ISRO also has two increasingly more powerful launchers in that order — the GSLV and the GSLV-Mk III, used to lift 2,000 kg and 4,000 kg communication satellites to higher orbits.