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small satellite: ‘Tremendous response’: 23 companies interested in ISRO’s small satellite launch vehicle technology

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As many as 23 companies have evinced interest in acquiring the Indian space agency’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle technology, said a top official who termed it a “tremendous response”. Chairman of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) Pawan K Goenka said on Thursday that they are keen to see how the private sector uses the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) technology.

“There has been a tremendous response, 23 companies have (so far) shown interest in applying for this technology. Of course only one of them will get it,” he said.

IN-SPACe, an autonomous nodal agency under the Department of Space (DOS), formed in 2020 to promote, enable, authorise and supervise non-government entities (NGEs) to undertake space activities, had in July floated an Expression of Interest (EoI) for transfer of technology (ToT) of SSLV with the last date to respond to it being September 25.

“Technology transfer is something we are working on very aggressively, because we really want to see how ISRO’s technology is leveraged by private sector. A lot is happening in that area and the biggest one is of course SSLV technology transfer, where we are transferring the launch vehicle lock, stock, and barrel completely to the private sector,” Goenka said.

Addressing the inaugural function of the International Conference on Space here, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said, this is perhaps the first ever example where an agency anywhere in the world has transferred the full design of a launch vehicle to the private sector.

Further noting that there are 42 applications or space technologies to be transferred to the private sector, Goenka said ISRO is working very closely with IN-SPACe and vice versa to get the process going, and 19 technologies are ready for transfer. IN-SPACe is working on the manufacturing aspect with state governments, he said, adding that the idea is to try and get all inclusive infrastructure, with a plug-and-play kind of setup for the industries focusing on manufacturing, where infrastructure will be provided by the state government. “We are in the process of signing an MoU with one state and we are working with another state to make that happen,” Goenka added. He also said currently India’s Space economy is at USD 8 billion and the vision is to take it to USD 44 billion by 2033.

“Lot of work is being done towards this and everyone will have to play an important role for this.” A ‘Catalogue of Indian Standards for Space Industry’, developed by INSPACe and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) containing 15 standards that private players will be recommended to follow was released on the occasion.

Australian High Commission Deputy High Commissioner Sarah Storey during her address reiterated her country’s commitment to collaborate and partner with India in the space sector, while Australian Space Agency Chief Enrico Palermo through a video message at the conference highlighted common areas of interest for both countries to collaborate.

Both of them lauded India’s achievements in the space sector, particularly the Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 missions.

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