NewSpace India Ltd – the commercial arm of Department of Space – will open the price bids submitted by three parties to make rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) next month, as the next fiscal begins, said a senior official.
“The techno-commercial evaluation is on the verge of conclusion. Once that is done, the price bids submitted by the three industry consortiums will be opened,” an NSIL official, not wanting to be identified, told IANS.
The NSIL has the mandate of building, and launching rockets and satellites through industry partners and also providing space-based services through remote sensing and communication satellites.
Last year, the company issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) from industries for making five PSLV rockets of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Three proposals were from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Bharat Electronics Ltd, Alpha Design and BEML Ltd, and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), it is learnt.
“Various committees went through the proposals that were received,” the official said.
Contacted by IANS, ISRO Chairman and Space Secretary S. Somanath, queried about the RFPs, said a decision has to be taken on the modalities.
He also said the plan was to source five PSLV rockets from the selected industry but whether the industry players will be enthused to make investments to make that number is the question.
According to the NSIL official, the selected consortium will be enabled to use the existing ISRO facilities.
Asked about the investment that would be made by the parties who have submitted their proposals, the official said that would be told later.
The NSIL official said the selected industry player can use ISRO facilities for a fee, and it is the industry’s responsibility to deliver the rocket.
Queried about the ISRO role, the official said, the Indian space agency will also have a role in making the rocket in connection with some critical systems.
After PSLV, the NSIL will issue an Expression of Interest (EOI) for making the ISRO’s small rocket – Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)– which is under development.
The selection process for SSLV will be simpler as NSIL has the experience in choosing the industry partner for making the PSLV rocket.
Further the SSLV is of simpler technology – it is powered by solid fuel motors.
Following that will be the EOI for making ISRO’s heavier rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III (GSLV-MkIII), the official added.
Meanwhile NSIL has issued an ‘Interest Explanatory Note’ to transfer ISRO’s technology for making the small satellite – India Mini Satellite-1 (IMS-1) Bus.
ISRO’s UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) has developed a small satellite platform which would enable low cost access to space by providing a dedicated platform for payloads for earth imaging, ocean and atmospheric studies, microwave remote sensing and space science missions with a quick turnaround time.
The satellite will have a payload mass of 30kg and a life space of two years.
According to NSIL, the Department of Space has authorised for technology transfer of IMS-1 Satellite Platform to suitable entrepreneurs/industry in India.
The last date for submission of interest is March 25.