India’s new rocket will let ISRO launch satellites month-on-month

(Representative image) The Indian Space Research Organisation's new rocket, the Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV), will only take three weeks to prepare for a launchBCCL

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation says it will take another 4 months to launch its new rocket, the Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV).
  • Haridas TV, ISRO deputy director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, says that it will only take the space agency three weeks to prepare the launch vehicle.
  • Each satellite will cost between ₹30 to ₹35 crore to make.
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India’s is working on a new rocket and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to use it to boost its commercial operations. The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) will allow ISRO to launch satellites month-on-month and earn more revenue.

"The biggest advantage is that ISRO now can manufacture these vehicles in a turnaround time of just three weeks," ISRO deputy director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center Haridas T.V. told reporters during EDGE 2020: The Space Conclave.

Each satellite will cost between ₹30-35 crore each and can carry satellites weighing up to 500 kilograms.
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The agency’s commercial arm, the New Space India Limited (NSIL) — which was formed last year to replace the Antrix Corporation — plans to amp its operations with once the new rocket is developed. Its first launch is expected in the next four months.

Even before the SSLV’s design was finalised, the rocket had signed on its first customer. The American space rideshare company — Spaceflight — bought a payload aboard the rocket in August 2019.

Expecting high demand
ISRO is expecting the SSLV to give India a boost in the satellite launch market. The Department of Space (DoS) is building a new spaceport in Tamil Nadu specifically to cater to that demand. According to Haridas, NSIL will be able to cater to the micro, mini and medium segments of the market.
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ISRO chairman K. Sivan, told The Hindu, that the SSLV’s test flight was supposed to happen in December 2019 with its maiden commercial flight scheduled for early 2020. However, the agency shared no updates with the public so far.

In addition to the SSLV launches, ISRO also plans to conduct 50 launches using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) over the next five years. Overall, ISRO has earmarked $1.6 billion for launch projects.

See also:
ISRO has its 'hands full' with 13 launches and the test of its new rocket before March

ISRO outlook 2020: Indian private sector eyes $30 billion space launch pie

ISRO Budget 2020 allocated ₹13,479 crore for space exploration

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