The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to forge a joint venture with an industrial consortium to build rockets. “We are (currently) using significant amount of things from the industry. If you take launch vehicles (space rockets), 80 per cent of our work, we do with the industry (which are making space-related equipment) today,” the agency’s Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told PTI in an interview.
The space agency is looking to form a joint venture with an industry consortium (to build polar satellite launch vehicle or PSLV), with the first launch planned for 2020-21 under this proposed entity, Kiran Kumar said. “We are now going through the process of establishing those mechanisms and getting the necessary approvals,” he said.
According to the ISRO Chairman, the consortium would have less than half-a-dozen companies from the industry, which would, however, have many sub-contractors under them.
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In the area of satellites, the ISRO has given a contract to a company for assembly, integration and testing of spacecraft. “We are getting many of the sub-systems done through the industry across the country,” he said.
Asked if he sees the ISRO as a pure R&D player outsourcing all other work to the industry, Kiran Kumar said, “It should be an ideal thing to happen in the long run because if the industry is able to do what is required, then definitely it’s a better opportunity for us (ISRO).”
The ISRO recognises the contributions of the industry in meeting the demands of national needs of the space systems and also says, “The participation of the industry in the realisation of space systems such as spacecraft, launch vehicles, establishment and operations of ground systems and facilities and implementation of application programmes have been steadily growing.”