ISRO's new mini-PSLVs will take just three days to assemble
ISRO is determined to take India's status even higher in the global space program. For one, it is looking to rope in the private sector so as to launch more satellites in less time. Now it's working on "a small launch vehicle" which can be made in just three days at one-tenth the normal cost. Here's more about ISRO's exciting venture.
ISRO's new mini rocket has unique properties: it can be assembled in just three days compared to the 30-40 for a normal-sized PSLV, at one-tenth of the general costs of Rs. 150-500cr. It will weigh 100 tons instead of 300 and can carry 500-700kg of payload. The vehicle will be able to launch satellites into the near-earth orbit, up to 500-700km in altitude.
ISRO's mini-rocket will increase the agency's efficiency. For one, the amount saved can be used to build more mini-PSLVs which can, in turn, be used to launch more satellites. "Such small vehicles will be capable of launching multiple satellites too," said Dr K Sivan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. The aim is to make it ready for launch by 2018-end or early-2019.
ISRO started the year on a grand note: in February, it launched a record 104 satellites on a single rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. However, in August, the PSLV-C39 mission failed when the heat shield didn't separate in the last moments. It is now planning to launch for the first time a rocket completely built by private players by 2020-21.
ISRO is now gearing up for its next project: the launch of Cartosat along with 30 nano satellites of foreign countries in December. This would be the first launch after the August failure. "The replacement satellite for IRNSS-1A will be launched soon thereafter," said Sivan.