India Moves Forward with Plans to Privatize Production of Launch Vehicles

GSLV Mark III inaugural flight test. (Credit: ISRO)

India is moving forward with transferring production of its government-built launch vehicles to private companies, Outlook India reports.

The Department of Space (DoS) plans to realise entirely-built rockets — GSLV-Mk III and SSLV — from Indian industry partners, in addition to PSLV, according to a top official of its commercial arm NSIL.

NSIL (NewSpace India Limited) has received three bids — HAL-L&T, BEL-Adani-BEML, and BHEL, in response to the request for proposal (RFP) floated by it for end-to-end production of PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).

“We are now going through the techno-commercial evaluation (in respect of the three bids)”, NSIL Chairman and Managing Director, D Radhakrishnan, told PTI here.

He said the process will be completed within the next two months with one of the bidders bagging the contract. The selected bidder will be responsible for realisation of five numbers of PSLV.

GSLV-Mk III is India’s most powerful satellite booster. It will be used to launch ISRO’s Gaganyaan crewed spacecraft. SSLV is the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, whose maiden flight has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ISRO Successfully Tests GSLV-Mk.III Cryogenic Engine

GSLV Mk.III cryogenic engine test. (Credit: ISRO)
GSLV Mk.III cryogenic engine test. (Credit: ISRO)

BANGALORE, India (ISRO PR) — India’s first indigenously designed and developed High Thrust cryogenic rocket engine generating a nominal thrust of 19 tonnes was successfully endurance hot tested for a duration of 800 seconds on July 16, 2015 at ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri. This duration is approximately 25% more than the engine burn duration in flight. The engine will be used for powering the Cryogenic stage (C25), the upper stage of the next generation GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle of ISRO, capable of launching four tonne class satellites.

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India Faces Series of Challenging Missions Over Next Six Months

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The New Indian Express reports that ISRO is facing a series of challenging missions over the next six months that officials hope will help vault the Indian space agency into the elite ranks of the world’s space powers. The missions include:

  • test flight of a domestically developed cryogenic upper stage in August;
  • launch of the nation’s first Martian spacecraft in late November; and,
  • the inaugural flight in January of the new GSLV-III, the most powerful launch vehicle ever built by India.

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