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India must focus on cost-effective launch vehicles: ANTRIX CMD

With global competition intensifying, India needs to focus on development of cost-effective launch vehicles, ANTRIX CMD S Rakesh said on Friday.

ANTRIX is the commercial arm of space agency ISRO.

The space community should look at aspects like production models and design manufacturing to drive down the cost of launch vehicles, he told reporters here on the sidelines of ‘ARMS 2016’, 
the 10th national symposium and exhibition on aerospace and defense related mechanisms.

“I want to caution our community that, today, PSLV is finding a very good market as a sought-after vehicle...and we would like to keep it that way.” 

“So... for that, we have to look at the global competition that is coming up. And we are seeing some threats from different quarters of the world...of some low-cost vehicles coming up,” he said. “ISRO is also doing that and they are also on the job,” he said when asked about the need for developing cost-effective launch vehicles. 

He said a lot of developments were happening the world over in terms of ‘small satellite launch vehicles’. “So our community should also get geared up to face those challenges.” On questions about countries developing cost-effective launch vehicles, Rakesh said many countries, including US, China, Russia and New Zealand, were developing it.

“In US, there are a couple of guys... in New Zealand, there is a person...Russia and China are also there,” he said. “Lots of low-cost vehicles are being tested globally... I would expect, may be in three to five years...some vehicles may come up,” he said. The cost-effective aspect should be looked into not just in the case of PSLV but in the case of all vehicles, he added. 
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