ISRO chief says private firms to build GSLV and SSLV rockets

ISRO Chairman S Somanath speaks about outsourcing construction of GSLV rockets, soon after an announcement that HAL has been tasked with building 5 PSLV rockets.
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ISRO chairman S Somanath has announced that the space agency hopes to hand over responsibilities for building various types of launch vehicles to private organisations. HAL had recently won a contract to build five PSLVs, the workhorse of ISRO's stable, for Rs 860 crore.

News agency WION reported that S Somanath was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of India's first satellite broadband service.

Somanath said, "In due course of time, we will be handing over the manufacturing of GSLV-MK III and SSLV to industrial consortiums. That is our plan for the long term to hand over all operational launches...to be rebuilt, relaunched, and operated on a commercial basis by NSIL."

NSIL is New Space India Limited, ISRO's commercial arm set up in 2019 to help facilitate the private-public relationship needed for various activities such as rocket launches and satellite launches. NSIL authorised the first satellite launches by Indian startups by ISRO in June, taking up payloads owned by Bengaluru-based startups Digantara and Dhruva Space.

Somanath said, "We are also looking at how in the future rockets can be built, designed, and built by consortiums, industries and NSIL for a better, cost-effective structure, instead of government spending money. This model will be changing in due course of time."

Edited by Teja Lele

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