ISRO Looking to Design, Build New Reusable Rocket for Global Market, ISRO Chairman Says


India is reportedly planning to design and build a new reusable rocket for the global market, Department of Space Secretary and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath announced during the Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX) 2022 on Monday. The next launch vehicle from ISRO after GSLV Mk III could be a reusable one and it is expected to reduce the cost of launching satellites. The space agency will reportedly work with the space industry, startups and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) for the reusable rocket.

As per a report by PTI, during the 7th edition of the Bengaluru Space Expo 2022, ISRO Chairman S Somanath announced the plans to design and build a new reusable rocket. At present, it costs ISRO between $10,000 (roughly Rs. 7,97,800) and $15,000 (roughly Rs. 11,96,800) to put a one-kilogram payload into orbit.

Somanath reportedly said that ISRO would have to reduce it to $5,000 (roughly Rs. 3,98,000) or even $1,000 (roughly Rs. 79,700) per kilogram and that the only way to do so would be to make the rocket reusable. He added that the country doesn’t yet have reusable technology in the launch vehicles sector.

The next Rocket that ISRO builds after the GSLV-MK3 must be reusable, he told PTI. ISRO has been working on various technologies including the Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD), he said adding that by combining these new technologies, the space agency would like to join hands with industry, startups and its commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to build a new usable rocket.

“I would like to see this (proposal) taking shape in the next few months” he said, adding that the development of post-conscious and production-friendly rocket must happen in the next few years so that the space agency can retire all those operating launch vehicles (in India) at the appropriate time.