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Indian company delivers Gaganyaan fairing and high altitude launch abort motor to ISRO

Capitalism in space: The Indian private company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, yesterday delivered to India’s space agency ISRO the fairing and high altitude launch abort motor that will be used in Gaganyaan, that nation’s first manned spaceflight.

Though the article at the link does not say so, the fairings and abort motor will likely be used in one of two unmanned launch abort test flights ISRO intends to do before the actual manned mission, now set for sometime in ’24.

Hindustan Aeronautics is also a space company in India that will require watching. It not only built these major components for Gaganyaan, it also has built major components for India’s PSLV and GSLV rockets. It would not surprise me if the company eventually decides to build its own rocket, assuming the India government loosens the stranglehold it presently has over space and lets private companies compete against its government space operations. It was a similar stranglehold by NASA from the 1970s to the 2000s that squelched competition and innovation from the American private aerospace industry. When that ended, the renaissance in commercial space finally could begin.

UPDATE: It appears I was in error assuming Hindustan Aeronauts was a private company, as it is owned by the Indian government. I have edited the post above to reflect this. It appears the stranglehold the government has over India’s aerospace industry is no closer to loosening.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Panjabi

    HAL is a government owned company and also manufactures military aircraft, both under license and of it’s own (Tejas). It has been around since the early/mid 1960s

  • Panjabi: Thank you for that clarification. It appears that India is still quite far from transitioning to the private enterprise model.

  • Panjabi

    Robert, India’s current government seems to try to move to the private model for both defense and space. However, the existing private players in India are just starting from scratch and do not have the skill-sets yet. In the US, while the DoD and NASA paid for space programs, the companies that built them were private and those companies in turn used sub-contractors. This allowed a wide dispersion of skilled aerospace people in various companies in the US. In contrast, in India, the ONLY place to get a good aerospace job are government owned firms like HAL and ISRO. Thus their mindset is not a “killer” mindset. Things ARE changing but will take a while for them to scale. The next SpaceX in India will take about 20 years.

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