Rakesh Sasibhushan, CMD Antrix said: “Antrix is looking at 50/60 launches SSLVs a year and in the next 10 years, we see a business potential of ₹1500-2000 crore annually.”
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its commercial wing Antrix on Wednesday said they are willing to outsource manufacturing of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) so that the space agency could focus on the proposed human space programme. ISRO held discussions a week ago with a consortium of industries regarding PSLV industrialisation with the objective of easing ISRO to focus on human space programme and research and development activities."Definitely, in my opinion, in the ISRO activity, industry is going to play a major role. If only the industry is taking the load, ISRO can work out on human space programme and research and development activities," ISRO chairman K Sivan said.He said the industry should help in manufacturing PSLV as well as SSLV, adding ISRO had already worked out a model. With this model in a year, the PSLV was supposed to be produced by the industry. "That is our ambition and target," Sivan said.He was addressing a press conference here to announce the Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX), a three-day event starting from September 6 at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre(BIEC).BSX-2018 will have 100 exhibitors, 56 speakers, and 600 official delegates participating. There will be a separate pavilion for human space programme or Gaganyaan, which was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address this year.PM Modi had said an Indian astronaut would be sent to space by 2022. India will be the fourth country after the USA, Russia, and China to send humans to space. Sivan said informal discussions had been initiated with the Indian Air Force on selection of the crew. Once selected, it would take two-three years to train them.He also said ISRO would need to take the help of a foreign country for advanced training of the crew. "We have not decided which country we will choose for training. Russia, Germany, and USA have the facilities," Sivan added.On the PSLV outsourcing, the ISRO chief said industry partners Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Larsen and Tubro, Godrej were among those who took part in the discussions. "It is possible to produce PSLV from this consortium. Already we have started working on that," Sivan said.Sivan said the industry would have a huge role to play in Gaganyaan and in building facilities for mission control centre and launch pad. Antrix Managing Director Rakesh Sasibhushan said the small satellite service was an $18 billion market (roughly Rs. 1.27 lakh crores) and they were looking at 50-60 launch vehicles per year."We are looking for a 50-60 vehicles per year, which is definitely going to make it commercially viable to produce...So the general capacity we are building, we are looking at a revenue of around Rs. 1,500 crores to Rs. 2,000 crores per year," he said. Atrix was discussing with various industry players in this connection, he added.
Why does SSLV weigh 120tons? When other countries like USA has ICBM minuteman which can reach 1200km at 50 ton, why India can't make a similar ICBM type missile which can launch satellite to 500-600km orbit for 50-60tons?
In addition, ISRO is scouting for a location on the western sea coast near Gujarat to set up another launch pad for Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV).
“We have evaluated several locations. The first two SSLV launches will take place from Sriharikota. After that they will move to the new location,” the official said.
SHAR is both accessible as well as relatively less uninhabited.SHAR is on an island touching pulicat lake which has advantages for polar as well as equatorial launches.
On the launchpad, the SSLV will stand 34 metres tall, 10 metres shorter than the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and around 15 metres shorter than the Mk-II version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch vehicle (GSLV). It is also a ‘thinner’ launch vehicle, possessing a diameter of just two metres.
With a lift-off mass of 120 tonnes, the SSLV can place a 500 kg payload at a height of 500 km in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The SSLV has three solid motor stages, and like the PSLV and GSLV, can accommodate multiple satellites, albeit smaller ones. Unlike the PSLV and GSLV, the SSLV can be assembled both vertically and horizontally.
It would be much better for the Indian Air Force to acquire and maintain their own separate launch capability, by carrying out their own SSLV launches to fulfill their mission requirements.Otherwise ISRO's going to wind up in the crosshairs.