Locks to space: Go­drej to join Isro’s pri­vate rocket mis­sion

Business Standard - - FRONT PAGE - RAGHU KR­ISH­NAN

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 ”.

PHOTO: PTI

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

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