ISRO sees larger share in the global satellite launch sector

With the successful placement of 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit aboard the Launch Vehicle Mark-III (LVM-3) launch vehicle, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is now targeting a larger share of the global satellite launch market.

A recent report by the Indian Space Association (ISpA) and Ernst and Young (E&Y) had estimated the global space economy at $447 billion, with the satellite launch segment accounting for $6 billion.

ISRO has already carved a niche for itself in the satellite launch segment with its old warhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which brought in millions of dollars in business for the space agency.

With the LVM-3 rocket capable of placing 10-ton payloads in low-Earth orbits, ISRO now aims to launch heavier satellites or multiple smaller satellites.

The launch of 36 satellites for OneWeb on Sunday totaled over 5.7 tons, and ISRO plans to repeat the launch for another batch of 36 satellites in February next year.

“The next LVM-3 will be ready by February 2023 when we plan another launch for OneWeb,” said ISRO Chairman S. Somanath.

“We aim to run an LVM-3 launch every three to four months depending on commercial demand,” he said in a recent interaction here.

ISRO was awarded the order to launch OneWeb satellites in April this year as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine thwarted the UK-based company’s plans to launch satellites with Russian rockets from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Of OneWeb’s planned constellation of 648 satellites, Roscosmos launched 428 before the Ukraine conflict. ISRO was tasked with launching 72 satellites aboard the LVM3 rocket.

According to the ISpA-E&Y report, titled “Developing the Space Ecosystem in India: Focusing on Inclusive Growth,” India’s space economy was priced at US$9.6 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach US$12.8 billion by 2025 .

On a dollar basis, the satellite services and applications segment would be the largest with revenue of $4.6 billion by 2025, followed by ground segment at $4 billion, satellite manufacturing at $3.2 billion and launch services at $1 billion .

India’s share of the launch services segment has been set at US$600 million by 2020 and is projected to grow at a 13 percent compound annual growth rate to reach US$1 billion by 2025, the report said.

”The availability of low cost satellite launchers coupled with mass production will result in demand from customers around the world. Indian private companies are trying to capitalize on the space industry through the use of innovative technologies,” it said.

ISRO also plans to conduct a test launch of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) later this year. The first SSLV launch in August of this year was unsuccessful.

The SSLV is designed to carry a payload of up to 500 kg into low Earth orbit.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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