ISRO to allow private sector to set up own launchpad at Sriharikota
ISRO will allow the private entities to set up their own launch facility at Sriharikota so that they can launch their own rocket or spacecraft. The agency will not charge anything for such launches.
Indian Space of Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to allow the private sector to set up their own launchpad at the Sriharikota Launch Centre (SHAR). The step will kickstart the process of unlocking the space sector for the private sector.
As per ISRO Chairman, K Sivan, the space agency has already started the process of involving the private sector in space activities. Currently, ISRO has 2 launchpads and 2 rocket assembly buildings at Sriharikota.
ISRO has also been gearing up to share its expertise with the private sector for free in areas such as technical support where monetary support from their part is not required.
• ISRO will allow the private entities to set up their own launch facility at Sriharikota so that they can launch their own rocket or spacecraft. The agency will not charge anything for such launches.
• Department of Space is already in the process of setting up the National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), set up to promote the private entities in the space sector.
• As per ISRO, if the private sectors are interested they can proceed to apply, as the space agency doesn’t want the industry to wait till it is completely set up.
• ISRO also plans on starting at least the consultation process of involving the private sector in space activities as per their requirement.
Satellite launches in 2020:
ISRO Chairman, K Sivan informed that some important ISRO centres such as Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram have been closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as it is very difficult to carry out satellite launches with the restrictions.
However, the Chairman did not rule out the satellite launches this year and mentioned that it all depends upon the situation in the coming months.
Private entities in Space Sector:
As per the recent cabinet decision of opening up the space centre for all, ISRO will now involve non-government private entities in the production of sus systems and components of a launch vehicle, production of components of a spacecraft, launch vehicle integration, spacecraft integration, and testing.
The private entities will also help in the development of space-based applications with the use of satellite data and rolling out of the commercial services.