NSIL/ISRO and OneWeb to Collaborate for Taking Digital Connectivity to Every Corner of the World

GSLV Mk III booster lifts off. (Credit: ISRO)
  • ISRO’s PSLV and GSLV-MkIII to become a part of launch programme for OneWeb’s LEO satellites that will beam high speed broadband on earth

LONDON and NEW DELHI, India, 11 October 2021 (OneWeb PR) — Bharti-backed OneWeb, the low Earth orbit satellite communications company, today announced an  arrangement through Letter of Intent with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to use the Indian-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.

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Indian Space Commercialization Gathers Speed as Government Eyes Foreign Direct Investment Policy Changes

The Indian government’s efforts to commercialize its space sector has been picking up speed over the past two years. Outlook India spotlighted two important indicators in a recent story:

About 40 space startups and industries are in consultation with ISRO for support related to various domains of space activity such as development of satellites, launch vehicles, develop applications and provide space-based services.

India’s Foreign Direct Investment policy in the space sector is also getting revised which, the ISRO Chairman and DoS Secretary K Sivan believes, will open up huge avenues for foreign companies to invest in the country.

India’s space industry has been largely closed and government run. Changing the investment policy could bring a flood of foreign money into a range of areas, including communications and launch vehicle development.

The government has established NewSpace India Ltd. under the Department of Space to spearhead commercialization efforts. The company has been overseeing efforts to turn over the production of India’s government-built launch vehicles to private companies.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently signed agreements that will allow two private launch vehicle developers, Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot Aerospace, access to the space agency’s facilities and technical expertise. Additional agreements are anticipated.

ISRO has established the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center (IN-SPACe), whose responsibility is to facilitate cooperation between the space agency and private companies.

India’s Bellatrix Aerospace Opens Private Propulsion Laboratory

ISRO Chairman K Sivan cuts the ribbon on Bellaxtrix Aerospace’s propulsion laboratory. (Credit: ISRO)

Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO/ Secretary, DOS inaugurated the spacecraft research laboratory at M/s Bellatrix Aerospace, the startup company inside IISc, Bangalore. This privately funded propulsion lab has in-house facilities for development and testing of electric and green chemical propulsion technologies.

Dr Sivan appreciated the young team for establishing the state-of-the art facility which houses equipment such as integrated thermal high vacuum test facilities, catalytic reactors, propellant preparation facilities, specialized high temperature coating facilities, etc. Chairman, ISRO also witnessed the firing of Hall Thruster at the facility.

Agnikul Cosmos Signs MOU to Use ISRO Facilities to Develop Launch Vehicle

Agnibaan small-satellite launcher (Credit: Agnikul Cosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Indian startup Agnikul Cosmos signed a framework memorandum of understanding (MOU) with India’s Department of Space on Friday for access to ISRO facilities and expertise for the development of its two-stage small-satellite Agnibaan launch vehicle.

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Framework MOU Signed with M/s Skyroot for Access to ISRO Facilities

Vikram boosters (Credit: Skyroot Aerospace)

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — Department of Space has today, September 11, 2021, entered into a Framework MoU with M/s Skyroot Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad for access to ISRO facilities and expertise towards the development and testing of subsystems/systems of Space Launch Vehicles. The Framework MoU will enable the company for undertaking multiple tests and access facilities at various ISRO centers and also enable to avail technical expertise of ISRO for testing and qualifying their space launch vehicle systems and subsystems.

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ISRO Chairman K Sivan Lays Out 10 Year Plan for Indian Space Program

Dr. K Sivan (Credit: ISRO)

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — In the future, when we look back upon the year 2020, we will be reminded of the trials and tribulations caused in our official as well as personal lives, owing to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding this situation, huge quantity of work progressed in virtual mode in design and development of systems.

Gaganyaan & Chandrayaan-3 major technical issues were addressed. The concept of virtual LCC and SCC got evolved and implemented. In fact, this mode of work appears to be more efficient and can be the new normal. Even where field work was involved, the activities were completed with minimum travel and social distancing.

And thanks to the dedicated and hardworking personnel, who carried on the torch of progress and made sure that we complete two hugely successful launches by the end of the year. These achievements, even during hard times, in the face of financial & human resource constraints, is truly commendable and speaks volumes about the resourcefulness of team ISRO.

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ISRO Chairman Given 1-Year Extension of Term

Dr. K Sivan (Credit: ISRO)

ISRO Chairman K Sivan has been given an one-year extension to his term, postponing his planned Jan. 14, 2021 retirement date.

Sivan, 63, was appointed ISRO chairman in January 2018. He joined ISRO in 1982 and previously served as director of the space agency’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre.

In an interview with the Times of India, Sivan said he would do his best to move the Gaganyaan human spaceflight program toward a crew launch by the August 2022 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other priorities include continuing the ongoing commercialization reforms of the Indian space industry and fast tracking the launch of the Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing mission.

ISRO Opens Space Situational Awareness Center

BANGALORE, India (ISRO PR) — In view of ever-growing population of space objects and the recent trend towards mega-constellations, Space Situational Awareness (SSA) has become an integral and indispensable part of safe and sustainable space operations.

For the last few decades, ISRO has been carrying out SSA activities, mainly focused on safeguarding India’s space assets. Recognising the need for dedicated efforts to tackle the emerging challenges of operating in an exceedingly crowded and contested space domain, Directorate of Space Situational Awareness and Management (DSSAM) has been established at ISRO.

The Directorate engages in evolving improved operational mechanisms to protect Indian space assets through effective coordination amongst ISRO/DOS Centres, other space agencies and international bodies, and establishment of necessary supporting infrastructures, such as additional observation facilities for space object monitoring, and a control centre for centralized SSA activities.

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ISRO Schedules Webinar on Space Commercialization Plans

Webinar – Unlocking of India’s Potential in Space Sector

Join us along with Eminent personalities from Industries/Academia for a webinar on  Unlocking of India’s Potential in Space Sector scheduled on August 20, 2020, Thursday at 11:00 AM.

Discussion Topics:

  • Scope of IN-SPACe, institutional mechanism, industry promotion, application processes and opportunities
  • Role of NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL).

Webinar consists of four sessions. First session is Introductory session (11:00 am to 12:30 pm), followed by three thematic sessions as below

  1. Launch Vehicles and Satellites (01:00 pm to 02:30 pm)
  2. Space Technology Applications (03:00 pm to 04:30 pm)
  3. Academia and Institutions (05:00 pm to 06:30 pm)

Webinar will also have a feature of Question/Answer in each thematic session consisting of Industrialist/Academia/Start-ups as well as general public.

Registration received from Industries/Academia/Individuals for the earlier announced dates are valid for webinar rescheduled on August 20, 2020.

For those who are yet to register, kindly click on https://industrymeet.isro.gov.in

Kindly provide your feedback and Questions along with registration to make the webinar more informative.

For correspondence contact: in-space@isro.gov.in

ISRO Announces Reforms to Allow Private Sector to Commercialize Space Activities

Dr. K Sivan, ISRO Chairman and Secretary of the Department of Space, announced that India is privatizing its space industry.

A key reform is the creation of an autonomous Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre within the Department of Space that will oversee permitting and regulating private space companies. There will be board composed of government, industry and academic representatives.

ISRO will also

  • provide access to agency facilities to private companies;
  • modify its satellite and space navigation policies;
  • commercialize such activities as launches and communications; and,
  • transition from a supply driven to a demand driven model for space services.

ISRO will focus on science missions, human spaceflight and other activities.

India’s Vikram Suffered “Hard Landing” on Moon

Chandrayaan2 Vikram lander (Credit: ISRO)

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter has spotted the Vikram lander in the surface of the moon, but it’s not looking very good.

“Yes, we have located the lander on the lunar surface. It must have been a hard landing,” Sivan told PTI….

Asked if the lander was “damaged” during the “hard landing”, Sivan said: “That we do not know.”

Sivan had said on Saturday that the space agency would try to establish link with the lander for 14 days and reiterated on Sunday after it was located on the lunar surface by Chandrayaan-2’s on-board cameras that those efforts would continue.

Fourteen days is the length of a lunar day. The lander and the Pragyan rover it carried are not designed to survive the frigid cold of the lunar night.

The Vikram lander stopped communicating with ground controllers as it descended toward a landing near the moon’s south pole. ISRO said the loss of communications occurred less than 2 km (1.25 miles) above the surface.

Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second mission to the moon and first attempt to land a payload on the surface.