Bangalore, India, 08 September 2006 – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to outsource more of its satellite and rocket development work to the industry. ISRO is country’s premier space agency credited with putting two satellites into orbit every year. And to meet the growing demand, ISRO is likely to rope in more private companies to build entire satellites for it.
“Since our demand for satellites are going to multiply manifold in the coming years, half a dozen satellites are to be built for our own use, so it’s essential we have industry partnership,” says ISRO Chairman Dr Madhavan Nair.
So far, some engines and components for rockets have been outsourced to private companies. And despite the fact that last GSLV crash was caused by a mechanical fault in an engine produced by a private firm, ISRO remains undeterred.
“As for rockets (it’s a) good situation, we have nearly 80 per cent of work done through industries because we started early in the programme. As far as satellites are concerned, (it’s) only 40 per cent. So we want to enhance participation of industries in the satellite area as well,” says Madhavan Nair.
“About eight companies have been short listed. We are working with them,” says ISRO Satellite Center Director Dr K N Shankara. According to sources, the short listed companies include big ones like L&T, Tata, Mahindra and Godrej. ISRO is roping in India Inc not only for its own uses, but also for other space agencies across the world. How the industry responds to the offer will be clear in few months when ISRO will review the proposals called in from private companies.