Locks to space: Godrej to join Isro’s private rocket mission
Godrej & Boyce confirmed on Friday it would join an industry consortium being formed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to build work horse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles( PS L Vs) to send local and global satellites into space.
The space agency has set 2020 as the deadline for the first privately built rocket to be launched into space.
“It isa tan as cent stage right now. The discussions are going on how to form a consortium and who will do what ,” said Jamshyd N Godrej, chairman, Godrej& Boyce, on Friday.
So far, Isro has built PSLV rockets used for the Moon and Mars mission son its own but has been constrained in scaling up to meet the growing global demand for launch services of smaller satellites. Besides, it also has to de vote resources to build heavier rockets, satellite sand launch deep space missions. This has prompted the space agency to look at private firms to build PSLV rockets under its guidance.
God rej produces Vikas, the rocket engine that powers both the PS L Va nd the heavier Geo synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), besides various systems such as antennae and thrusters for Isro.
“If you have to really develop a major aerospace industry in India you need all these building blocks. Companies with different expertise have to come together,” said Godrej.
Globally, there has been an explosion of companies that are building small and mini satellites but there is a shortage of launchers. Firms such as Planet Labs and Sp ire Global have used the PS L Vt oh ur lt he ir satellites into space and the opportunity is only growing. Is rois restructuring Antrix Corporation, its commercial arm, so that it can work in partnership with the private sector and promote home grown space technology for global markets. God rej is also investing in building its aerospace capabilities to service both the local and global markets.
“Companies such as Rolls Royce and Boeing want components from India. They want in large numbers, not on a small scale,” said Godrej.
He also concurred with a Boeing executive’ s assessment that India’ s private sector lacked the capability to manufacture complex military aircraft under transfer of technology. In September, Boeing India chief Pratyush Kumar had said only Hindu stan Aeronautics had such capability, which Godrej said “is a fact ”.
Godrej & Boyce Chairman & MD Jamshyd N Godrej ( right) with Isro Chairman A S Kiran Kumar, Isro former chairman K Radhakrishnan, Antrix CMD Rakesh S and Antrix former CMD V S Hegde, at the Silver Jubilee celebration of Antrix Corporation in Bengaluru on Friday