Larsen & Toubro and Hindustan Aeronautics are among the companies that have been vetted for potential bidding in India’s privatization of its small satellite launch rocket, according to a source. The government aims to attract more investment in the growing space market. The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), allows for the low-cost launch of satellites weighing up to 500 kg into low-earth orbit. This market is highly competitive, with companies like SpaceX operating in it.
Around 20 companies have expressed interest in bidding on the privatization, which is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy drive to open up space businesses to investment. India’s goal is to increase its share of the global satellite launch market by fivefold in the next decade. The next step will be to initiate the bidding process, according to an anonymous source with direct knowledge of the matter. The companies involved have not responded to requests for comment.
Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) already have a contract with the government to manufacture and deliver rockets to ISRO. Under this contract, they will produce and deliver five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV), which are commonly referred to as ISRO’s “workhorse” rocket. Deliveries are expected to begin in two years. ISRO will use the PSLV to launch its Aditya-L1 mission, a space-based solar observatory, next month. This launch follows the successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the moon’s south pole, which is expected to boost India’s efforts to attract private investment in space ventures.
The bidding process for the SSLV program was opened by the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in July. This will be the first fully privatized Indian rocket, with the winning bidder or consortium taking over the entire program. In contrast, the contract for manufacturing the PSLV rockets is more limited. The newly created space regulatory body, IN-SPACe, aims to spur private investment in the space sector.
In conclusion, Larsen & Toubro and Hindustan Aeronautics are among the companies being considered for bidding on India’s privatization of its small satellite launch rocket. The government aims to attract more investment in the booming space market. The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) developed by ISRO allows for low-cost satellite launches. Around 20 companies have expressed interest in the privatization, and the bidding process will be initiated soon. Hindustan Aeronautics and Larsen & Toubro already have a contract with the government to manufacture rockets for ISRO. The PSLV rockets will be used for upcoming missions, including a space-based solar observatory. The success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is expected to boost private investment in India’s space ventures. The bidding process for the SSLV program was opened by IN-SPACe, and it will be the first fully privatized Indian rocket.
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