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ISRO opens up satellite making to industry
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has opened the door to domestic entities and invited single or combined domestic industries to participate in satellite making. The initiative can give ISRO up to 18 spacecraft a year starting mid to late 2018.
Five or six contenders will be selected from this exercise, if they are found technically suitable. The Bengaluru-based ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), has so far produced about 90 Indian spacecraft.
Currently the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) makes four categories of spacecraft — communication, remote sensing, navigation and scientific missions, and in three sizes of 1,000 kg to 4,000 kg.
How ISRO plans to achieve it:
- ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) would sign a three-year contract with the finalists, train, handhold and supervise their teams in making its range of satellites at its facility
- The outsourcing of assembly, integration and testing phases would be same as the operational spacecraft that ISRO routinely require, an in-house committee will take decisions in this regard
- The contract would mentions milestone payments, assigning of new spacecraft upon delivery and renewal of contract after three years
- The first lot of spacecraft from this exercise was expected in about six months, which is also roughly the normal time taken to assemble a satellite ? Although the goal is to get vendors into assembly, integration and testing of satellites, ISAC would retain important and scientific missions
How would the exercise benefit ISRO:
- The manpower of ISAC/ISRO is not adequate,
- for meeting both the increased load of making more satellites
- and also for the R&D that we need for future satellites
- Outsourcing of assembly, integration and testing(AIT) will help us re-deploy our human resources effectively and focus on R&D
- It would also augment self-reliance by way of an independent Indian satellite industry