& Boyce confirmed on Friday it would join an industry consortium being formed by the Indian Space
Research Organisation (Isro) to build workhorse rocket
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) to send local and global satellites into space.
agency has set 2020 as the deadline for the first privately built rocket
to be launched into space.
“It is at a nascent 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 missions on 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 devote resources to build heavier rockets, satellites and launch deep space
missions. This has prompted the space
agency to look at private firms to build PSLV
rockets under its guidance.
produces Vikas, the rocket
engine that powers both the PSLV
and 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 PlanetLabs and Spire Global have used the PSLV
to hurl their satellites into space
and the opportunity is only growing. Isro
is restructuring Antrix Corporation, its commercial arm, so that it can work in partnership with the private sector and promote homegrown space
technology for global markets. Godrej
is also investing in building its aerospace capabilities to service both the local and global markets.
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 Hindustan Aeronautics had such capability, which Godrej
said “is a fact”.