ISRO gives US space companies cause for concern

reusable-rockets_23_04_2016The successful execution of the Mars Orbit Mission by ISRO and at the lowest ever cost in the world at that, has given the jitters to the American Private Space Companies. Many countries have turned to India for help as the technology that ISRO has, has made it possible to launch satellites into space at a low cost. The USA too, all set to strengthen co-operation in this field with India, is considering launching its own satellites with the help of the low cost launching vehicles. However, American private Space companies have opposed this decision that they believe is a step towards the bleak future of private space firms.

India has, in the recent times, seen the successful completion of space missions at low cost which include the Lunar exploration mission and the Mars Orbit Mission. Besides, India has also developed its own GPS technology and the last satellite of the IRNSS series is slated to be launched shortly. India has even succeeded in developing a reusable launch vehicle which guarantees further shrinkage in the cost of space missions. India’s technology in this field is proving to be a cause for concern for the space companies of several nations including those of the USA. India has taken the plunge in the space industry market and along with the developing nations, the wealthy ones too have expressed willingness to co-operate with India. In recent times ISRO has launched several foreign customer satellites and many countries have struck contracts in this domain for co-operation with India.

Anxious about India’s low cost space launching programs, representatives of American private space firms met with a congressional committee. Considering the way India has been launching satellites at low cost, the representatives of American private space firms fear that the future of this industry might be in jeopardy.

Moreover, the launches of ISRO are subsidised by the Indian government which lowers the costs even further, allege the American representatives. The cost at which India successfully manages launches is barely enough for these firms to make launch vehicles available! Going by the trade rules, the subsidy granted by the Indian Government is unacceptable and undermines the interest of the USA. These firms appealed to the American Government to review the situation and hold talks prior to accepting help from the Indian Space Organization. The American Space foundation requested also that the American Government give a thought to the future of these Private Space Firms as also to the possible measures to secure their future.

Reusable Launch Vehicle to be tested next month

India takes a huge stride towards success in yet another field as it prepares to test its Reusable Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstration (RLVTD) that makes launch missions more economical than ever before. The ‘RLV’ will be flight tested towards the end of the next month, confirmed Mr. AS Kiran Kumar, Chief of ISRO. The success of this sophisticated Launch Vehicle test will assure India of an upperhand in the commercial market in the field. The RLVTD is currently on its way to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota after completing several tests in the laboratory. This vehicle will be carried to a height of 70 kms in space and then released for re-entry into the atmosphere. This is said to be a very tough test and a crucial phase in the RLVTD endeavour. The program to make reusable space vehicles was approved in 2012 and the test scheduled for August last year was postponed for technical reasons.

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