Revolutionary update in the field of Satellite Launch System. ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) is working to develop a small launch vehicle which can be assembled normally in just three days. Faster as compared to 30-40 days of PSLV assembling and also it can be made at a cost which will be one-tenth of the original PSLV’s manufacturing cost. Launch Vehicle’s manufacturing costs are generally in the range of 150 crores to 500 crores worldwide.
The director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Dr K Sivan told to TOI in the International seminar held on Indian Space Programme: “ISRO is busy developing a small launch vehicle which is likely to be ready for launch probably by 2018-end or early-2019. The cost of this vehicle will get drastically reduced by one-tenth of the manufacturing cost of a normal PSLV. However, this rocket will have the total payload capacity of 500 to 700 kg and can launch satellites only up to the polar sun-synchronous orbit or near-earth orbit (500-700 km in altitude).”
Dr Sivan also stated that “The weight of this mini PSLV will be just 100 tonnes as compared to 300 tonnes of the normal sized launch vehicle.”
For sometimes back, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar regarding the cost-effective vehicle programme stated that: ISRO has been endeavouring to reduce the cost to access the space. So that, more space technologies can be used to develop benefits in favour of common people.
Dr Sivan in the seminar stressed on the advantages of developing such kind of mini space system, “The amount of money used in building a normal size PSLV rocket can actually be used to manufacture multiple numbers of such mini PSLVs which in turn can launch several satellites. So, ISRO will be able to launch several satellites in less money.” He added to the statement, “Such small vehicles will to be capable of launching multiple nano-satellites.”
Keeping in view of emerging markets of Nano satellites, ISRO has already begun working on the project to develop small rockets. So far, the satellites of foreign customers are kept as the only secondary passengers in the launch vehicles. With the possibility of ISRO capturing the market of Nano satellites, small vehicles can be a boon for foreign satellite customers because the rocket can be prepared on demand in just three days. Also, on February 15 this year, ISRO’s workhorse PSLV C37 launched 104 satellites at one time. Similarly on June 23 this year, the agency launched 30 small satellites of foreign companies with the primary satellite CARTOSAT-2.