ISRO will outsource satellite making to private consortium
- India’s space agency will outsource the manufacture of two navigation satellites, Navic to a consortium of private firms, its first major attempt to share its expertise in satellite making technology that would potentially allow the country to emerge as a major global hub for producing satellites.
- So far, firms such as Avasara Technologies, L&T and Godrej have supplied components and systems for the satellites that Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) builds to hurl into space.
- Isro will also share the knowhow for building ground equipment that captures satellite data and process them for specific local applications.
- For India, space is emerging as the next growth opportunity as there is a global glut of private satellite companies who are looking for outside expertise to build hundreds of small satellites and launching them on rocket.
- India’s PSLV rocket has emerged as the preferred vehicle to launch smaller satellites from global firms such as Spire and PlanetLabs
- So far, Isro’s satellite centre in Bengaluru has built over 80 satellites - for earth observation and communication, over the last four decades. In the next five years, it needs over 80 satellites to meet the country’s demands, which Isro says, would be built by the industry than expanding its own infrastructure.
- In 2017, Isro plans to build and launch 12 homegrown satellites.
- Isro also has set January 20 as the date to launch its heaviest rocket - GSLV Mk- III, which once proven would be vehicle for the country’s manned mission.