Tag Archives: PSLV

The Indian government considers privatization

The competition heats up: The Indian space agency, ISRO, is discussing with private companies ways in which it might privatize its smaller and successful rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

In order to step up the launch capacity within the country, ISRO is in the process of exploring the possibility of involving Indian industry in a greater role to meet the increased national requirements and possible commercial demand for launch services. Discussions are being held with the Indian industry towards formulating a plan and strategy to enhance the capacity as well as capability of managing the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme on an end to end basis.

The sense I get from this ISRO announcement is that the government is taking the lead, trying to drag the private companies forward to take over. I also sense that both the private companies as well as ISRO are at the moment are somewhat uninterested in doing it. Neither impression is stated anywhere in this announcement and are merely my personal impressions, based literally on no inside information, which of course means I could be very wrong.

India launches sixth GPS satellite

The competition heats up: India has successfully launched the sixth satellite in its own GPS constellation. using its PSLV rocket.

They will complete the GPS constellation with a seventh satellite launch in April. The system however is already functioning, as it only needs a minimum of four satellites to work. Unlike the U.S. 24 satellite system, which is designed to be global, India’s system is regional with its focus centered over India itself. This is why they do not need as many satellites for it to function effectively.

India’s first launch of 2016

The competition heats up: India today successfully completed its first launch in 2016, placing in orbit the fifth of what will be a seven satellite constellation of home-built navigational satellites.

It was India’s 50th orbital launch, and another success for their smaller PSLV rocket. The article is especially worth reading as it includes a nice history of the country’s rocket program.

India wins contract to launch private weather satellites

The competition heats up: The first two satellites in the first private weather satellite constellation will be launched on India’s PSLV rocket.

With 12 satellites on orbit, PlanetiQ will collect approximately 34,000 “occultations” per day, evenly distributed around the globe with high-density sampling over both land and water. Each occultation is a vertical profile of atmospheric data with very high vertical resolution, comprised of measurements less than every 200 meters from the Earth’s surface up into the ionosphere. The data is similar to that collected by weather balloons, but more accurate, more frequent and on a global scale.

“The world today lacks sufficient data to feed into weather models, especially the detailed vertical data that is critical to storm prediction. That’s why we see inaccurate or ambiguous forecasts for storms like Hurricane Joaquin, which can put numerous lives at risk and cost businesses millions of dollars due to inadequate preparation or risk management measures,” McCormick said. “Capturing the detailed vertical structure of the atmosphere from pole to pole, especially over the currently under-sampled oceans, is the missing link to improving forecasts of high-impact weather.”

This project is a win-win for aerospace. Not only will this weather constellation help shift ownership of weather satellites from government to private ownership, the company’s decision to use India’s PSLV rocket increases the competition in the launch industry.

Another succesful rocket launch for India

The competition heats up: India today successfully launched the third of seven home-built GPS satellites.

The head of ISRO, India’s NASA, also noted after the launch that the next test flight of their much larger GSLV rocket should occur within the next six weeks. If things go as expected, that flight will also include a test flight of an engineering prototype of an India-built manned capsule.

Another launch success for India

The competition heats up: Using its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket (PSLV) India successfully launched a French Earth-observation satellite on Monday.

The PSLV continues to be a very reliable commercial rocket for India’s government. That this launch was also witnessed by India’s new prime minister Narendri Modi — who also endorsed his country’s space effort in a public tweet — suggests that India’s space effort has a very bright future.

India’s new prime minister to watch rocket launch.

The competition heats up: The new prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, will watch the next commercial launch of his country’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)

Modi would be called a tea party candidate in the U.S. He is very pro-capitalism and business. And though he has said he is very pro-space, I do wonder what he thinks of the commercial efforts of India’s space agency ISRO. ISRO is developing its rockets in an effort to capture international market share. It is as if NASA built the Falcon 9 and was trying to make money selling its use to private satellite companies.

I would not be surprised if Modi decides eventually to privatize this operation, taking the rocket development and commercial launches out of the hands of the government.

India today successfully launched the first satellite in its own homegrown GPS constellation.

The competition heats up: India today successfully launched the first satellite in its own homegrown GPS constellation.

This launch was with their very reliable but smaller Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket (PSLV). They still need to get their more powerful Geosynchronous Satellite Launch rocket (GSLV) into operation to be truly competitive.

India launches three satellites on single rocket

India has successfully launched three satellites using its low-Earth-orbit rocket.

The launch could not have come at a more apt time than now. The old reliable workhorse vehicle was last used in a July 2010 launch. ISRO’s next two launches of the indigenous higher-powered GSLV failed.