India to develop reusable rockets for world: ISRO president

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India plans to develop reusable rockets for the world, government officials said on Monday. The agency will design and build new reusable rockets for global markets to reduce the cost of launching satellites.

“We all want launches to be much cheaper than what we are doing today,” said S Somanath, Secretary of the Space Department and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The head of the agency, while addressing the seventh “Bengaluru Space Expo 2022”, noted that currently it takes $10,000 to $15,000 to put a one kg payload into orbit. “We need to bring it down to $5,000 or even $1,000 per kg. The only way to do that is to make the rocket reusable. Today in India we don’t have reusable technology in launchers yet. (rockets),” he said. said.

“So the idea is that the next rocket we are going to build after GSLV Mk III should be a reusable rocket,” he added.

The agency president informed that they are working on various technologies, including the Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) which was demonstrated last week.

“We’ll have to have retro-propulsion to land it (come back to earth),” he said.

Somnath also informed that the idea for a reusable rocket will be a combination of current technologies and assistance from industry, startups and the agency’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

“That’s the idea and we’re working on that idea. That idea can’t be ISRO alone. It has to be an industry idea. So we’ll have to work with them to come up with a new rocket, not just designing, engineering, manufacturing and launching it as a commercial product and operating it commercially,” he said.

“So it’s a big change from what we’re doing today. I would like to see this (proposal) take shape in the next few months. We would like to see such a rocket, a rocket that will be competitive enough, a rocket that will be cost conscious, production friendly, that will be built in India but operated globally for space sector services,” said the president said.

The technology is expected in the next few years, as the agency also calculates the retirement of functioning launchers.

“It should happen in the next few years so that we can pull out everyone who operates launchers (in India) at an appropriate time,” he said.

With entries from PTI.

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