ISRO's SSLV Technology Transfer: 23 Companies Apply, One Will Get Picked

Swarajya News Staff

Sep 14, 2023, 10:26 PM | Updated 10:26 PM IST

ISRO's small satellite launch vehicle or SSLV
ISRO's small satellite launch vehicle or SSLV

To promote participation of the private sector in India's space economy, IN-SPACe issued an expression of interest (EOI) in July, inviting Indian industry to apply for the technology transfer of the small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV).

Thus far, 23 companies have applied, according to IN-SPACe Chairman Pawan Goenka. However, only one private company stands to be selected.

At the International Conference on Space 2023, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Goenka said the complete design of the SSLV launch vehicle will be transferred to one private player.

“With regard to SSLV’s ToT (transfer of technology), we are transferring the launch vehicle lock, stock and barrel, as they say, completely into the hands of the private sector.

"It is, perhaps, the first-ever example where a space agency anywhere in the world has transferred a full design of a launch vehicle to the private sector.

"We had 23 companies applying for the ToT, but we will be able to give it to only one company.”

The deadline for submitting proposals in response to the EOI is 25 September. The screening and identification of potential bidders will take place on 30 October.

The SSLV is a three-stage launch vehicle that has the capability to launch a satellite with a mass of up to 500 kg into a 500-km planar orbit.

According to ISRO, the key features of the SSLV include low cost, quick turnaround time, flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, launch-on-demand feasibility, and minimal launch infrastructure requirements.

The SSLV is slated to become the next ISRO workhorse, playing a key role in the commercial small satellite launch services.

According to Goenka, the expectations from ISRO and the Indian space ecosystem as a whole have increased following the successful soft-landing of the Chandrayaan-3's lander on the Moon.

IN-SPACe is short for the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center.

Set up in October 2021, IN-SPACe is a single-window, independent, nodal agency under the Department of Space that facilitates private sector participation in Indian space activities.

IN-SPACe aims to establish comprehensive infrastructure for industry, making manufacturing more accessible.

“We are trying to create plug-and-play infrastructure for industries. We are close to entering into a memorandum of understanding with one state and working with another state,” Goenka said.

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