Bengaluru: The country's versatile rocket, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), will be ready for its next flight by November-December as the cause for the snag which resulted in an unsuccessful flight on August 31 has been identified and is now awaiting endorsement by a committee of experts, says Chairman of ISRO, A S Kiran Kumar.
The glitch-a malfunctioning heat shield wrought a gloomy beginning for India Inc's foray into space as IRNSS-1H, the first satellite manufactured by the private sector, could not be not placed in orbit.
On Friday, Mr Kiran Kumar was optimistic that the workhorse rocket would resume flights within a couple of months. "We have identified what the problem is, and we are going through simulations to make sure what we are concluding, is what has exactly happened (during the unsuccessful flight on August 31). The committee, which has been set up to go through the report is having detailed discussions and the report will come out very soon. After the committee gives its final report, we will resume the launches by November-December," he said, on the sidelines of silver jubilee celebrations of Antrix Corporation Ltd, the corporate arm of ISRO.
He said the setback had no impact on the demand for the launch of foreign satellites by PSLV. Besides, ISRO plans to put together a consortium of private and public companies for manufacture of PSLV as part of a strategy to increase the number of launches and grab a larger slice of the $ multi-billion market for placing satellites in orbit. "We are working on the nitty-gritty of the consortium as the first PSLV launched by it (consortium) is likely in 2020-2021. In addition, GSLV Mk-II and GSLV Mk-III are also ideal rockets for launch of satellites for other customers (foreign)," he added. Mr Kiran Kumar said though Antrix Corporation had moved from an entity with a turnover of half a crore rupees in 1992 - the year it was launched- to one with a turnover of about Rs 2,000 crore, it should increase its presence in the global market and make the most of opportunities available in collaboration with the Indian industry. Mr Rakesh Sasibhushan, Chairman and Managing Director, Antrix Corporation Ltd, said the firm has bagged orders worth Rs 800 crore for the next three years. "We have been able to spread the commercial capabilities of ISRO worldwide and truly claim to be the commercial arm of ISRO. The previous 25 years have given us the knowledge and experience to survive in this business. We hope to take this forward and build a dynamic space ecosystem in India to take some load off the shoulders of ISRO as well as bring about a quantum increase in Indian space commerce," he added....