In a revolutionary change in India’s space scenario, the operation of Isro’s workhorse — the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) — will be largely privatized in four years, Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar has told TOI.
The Isro chief said that once the plan materializes, the integration and launch of the rocket will be handled by an industrial consortium through the commercial arm of Isro, Antrix Corporation.
“This will be discussed with industry leaders at the Make In India week. Tentatively, we plan to implement it in 2020,” he said.
He explained that the advantage of largely privatizing the PSLV operations is to boost capacity and consequently increase the rate of launches from 12 to 18 annually. If the plan takes off, it will be akin to US’s United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing Company formed in 2006, to provide cost-efficient access to space for US missions.
The PSLV , first launched in September 1993, has notched up 33 missions to date. Except for one failure during its maiden flight in 1993, the rest were successful, earning it global recognition as one of the most successful rockets.