India’s premier space organization, ISRO is hot property in the global market. After setting a world record for sending 104 satellites into the orbit, low-cost small satellite launcher is the next thing on ISRO’s menu.
Small satellites have become extremely popular as they ensure low-cost entry to space, and reports claim that the preliminary design of an ambitious small launch vehicle has already begun. It is being stipulated that the launch vehicle, able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in outer space, would be ready for commencement of operations by 2018.
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSCC) has made the designs for the low-cost satellite launcher and is awaiting ISRO’s final approval. The design team has used pre-existing technology at its helm and that will ensure to keep production costs down by a few crores. The production cost is also kept under control as the small capacity launcher doesn’t require advanced electronics.
Due to a smaller production cost, the launch fee will also come down tremendously. And ISRO says, that is what all space agencies around the world aim: Low-cost access to space. ISRO predicts that the ride cost on these small launchers could be a ninth or a tenth of the current cost.
What more? While a regular PSLV requires around 300 engineers and 40 days to assemble, a small capacity launcher will take just three. As a result, the space agency will be able to send more satellites into space for cheap, thus making space technology more accessible to the common man than ever before.