Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
Private Indian companies will soon be joining hands with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for a Joint Venture (JV) to build launch vehicles, something which has been "out-of-bounds" for private firms so far.
ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar stated they have started working on forming the JV for a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to launch a rocket by 2020.
Kumar said ISRO is awaiting clearances for the JV which is expected to help the space agency increase the number of launches/year.
ISRO currently does around 8-10 launches/year and aims to do at least 18/year, which is impossible without private companies' participation.
Adding that the agency has 40 satellites operating in different orbits, the ISRO Chief said India's requirement is "much, much higher".
ISRO Chairman Kumar said: "This (private involvement) is not just to meet our demand, but to also enable Indian firms to bag a significant pie of the global market, demand where is also only increasing. Earlier private firms worked on supplying subsystems and other components."
The ISRO Chairman said about 31 private companies claimed they were ready to build carrier rockets, mostly smaller rockets.
However, Kumar didn't reveal any names but he added that private participation would help India become a "space destination".
He said that ensuring quality would be crucial and ISRO will not compromise on the required safety and rigor in such programs.
Meanwhile, ISRO's commercial arm Antrix said ISRO in December would conduct its first PSLV launch after the failure on 31 August.
Antrix CMD S Rakesh said Cartosat-2 would help in providing high-quality images for military and civilian applications.
Explaining what resulted in the IRNSS-1H mission's failure on 31 August, ISRO Chairman Kumar said the heat shield didn't separate from the satellite due to inadequate pressure in the bellow pump.
He said the PSLV C39, carrying IRNSS-1H stumbled at the last moment and the mission was unsuccessful.
He added the committee looking into the matter found all automated commands were performed accurately.
Kumar said: "There was no fundamental problem, that's clear. A system that has performed so well on so many occasions could not just go wrong. The failure happened because there was not enough pressure in the bellow pump, which resulted in the non-separation."
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