First industry built PSLV by 2020,says VSSC Director Sivan

ISRO to outsource launch vehicle production

November 17, 2017 09:39 pm | Updated November 18, 2017 08:19 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) GSAT-9 on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), launches in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh on May 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR

The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) GSAT-9 on board the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), launches in Sriharikota in the state of Andhra Pradesh on May 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to hand over the entire gamut of launch vehicle manufacture to domestic industry by 2020.

“Until now, public and private industries have only supplied devices, components and sub-systems for ISRO’s launch vehicles, including the PSLV and the GSLV. Our effort is to give a push to industry for production of end-to-end systems. By 2020, we hope to have the first completely industry-built PSLV,” Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Director K. Sivan said here on Friday.

Inaugurating the National Aerospace Manufacturing Seminar (NAMS 2017) organised by the Society of Aerospace Manufacturing Engineers, he said efforts were on to set up a consortium of companies for the purpose. “Ultimately, we hope to see industry make the transition from vendors supplying parts, to partners providing integrated systems”.

The theme of the seminar was ‘Aerospace Manufacturing in India-Vision 2030.’

ISRO already has a partnership with private industry to produce satellites. The IRNSS-1H communication satellite aboard the ill-fated PSLV C-39 was the first to be produced by a consortium of six companies.

Dr. Sivan said ISRO had a partnership with about 500 domestic industries for the supply of various components and devices. “About 80% of the cost of launch vehicles and 40% of satellites are handled by these industries”.

He stressed on the need for industry to reduce the manufacturing and material cost without compromising on quality to bring down the launch cost. ISRO, he said, had tightened tolerance to error following the failure of the PSLV- C39 mission.

Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) Director S. Somanath said the industry partnership for satellite production had paved the way for the transition to industry-made launch vehicles. He said automation and the increased use of composites and additives were turning the conventional manufacturing process on its head. “Reusable launch vehicles promise to bring down launch cost but pose a problem for industry due to lower demand. The solution is to create a market for more missions.”

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