With quantum jump in missions, ISRO to scale up outsourcing

Bangalore: With domestic launch missions witnessing a "quantum jump" in recent times, Indian Space Research Organisation plans to scale up outsourcing to industries, which already contribute 60 per cent to the country`s space programme.

"Quantum jump is taking place both in satellite and launch vehicles", ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan, who also heads the Space Commission and is Secretary in the Department of Space, told PTI.

He noted that ISRO used to have one flight annually some years ago, which later went up to 2-3 every year and now stands at 4-5.

Radhakrishnan said there is much potential for industries, particularly in the area of the "proven" Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle programme and standard satellites buses, in addition to transponders in C and Ku band as the works are "repetitive" in nature.

On PSLV, ISRO`s workhorse rocket, he said: "We must have larger involvement of industries to produce them".

ISRO officials said towards achieving shorter turnaround times for realising the missions, the space agency has been encouraging wider participation of industry.

Due to technology transfer and technology utilisation activities adopted by ISRO, industry is significantly contributing in all spheres of space endeavours, they said.

On Chandrayaan-2 mission to the moon, an Indo-Russian mission, Radhakrishnan said, "We have to go through design review and then move ahead".

This mission is slated for 2013-14, he added.

ISRO sources said there is no scope to carry instruments of other countries on Chandrayaan-2 craft, as "availability of mass is a constraint".

India also does not have plans to demonstrate Anti-Satellite (ASAT) capability, unlike China which in the year 2007 destroyed an inactive weather satellite in space.

ISRO is more concerned about working on managing the debris that came in the orbit.

"The debris comes for two reasons– one is out of disintegration of the dying satellites and another is man-made debris. What they (China) did was to show they have the (ASAT) ability to do such an operation. But it has created man-made debris," Radhakrishnan said.

"We try it understand how does it (space debris) affect our satellites… our launch vehicles during missions," he said.

"We have to observe the debris; not create. We are not talking about anti-satellite (mission)", Radhakrishnan said.

He said there are systems "elsewhere in the world" for observing debris and "categorise" it based on size and orbit.

"Once you have that information, we have the ability to find out whether it will hit any of our satellites….We have the ability to observe".