ISRO to build and fly a small rocket next year for which work has already begun

Groundwork for the small rocket with a satellite capacity of around 500 kg is underway.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) expects to fly its first small rocket with a carrying capacity of about 500-700 kg sometime next year, according to a top official.

"The developmental work for our small rocket that can carry satellites weighing around 500 kg is on. The first flight of the small rocket is expected to happen sometime next year," ISRO Chairman, K Sivan told IANS.

He said the small rocket will be launched from the existing rocketport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

ISRO engineers hoisting the nozzle-end of the PSLV-C42's 'first stage' onto the launch pedestal. Image courtesy: ISRO

Representational image. Image courtesy: ISRO

In a recent interaction with IANS in Bengaluru, S Rakesh, Chairman and Managing Director of Antrix Corporation said the low-cost small rocket requires a dedicated launch pad with a simple vertical launch mechanism.

"Though SSLV will be initially launched from our rocketport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, we want to have a separate spaceport for it later," Rakesh had said.

Incidentally, Antrix is calling Indian nationals to apply for the post of `Head, Manufacturing & Marketing of Space Systems'.

The job description: "Preplanning activities of new Space Transport Systems which Antrix is envisaging to put into production. Establishment of production facilities in co-ordination with ISRO and Industries for Technology Transfer and production of the System."

The Indian space agency's current rocket roster. Image courtesy: ISRO

The Indian space agency's current rocket roster. Image courtesy: ISRO

Lithium-ion Battery technology

Sivan also said the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is evaluating the various proposals it has received for its lithium-ion battery technology and is expected to complete the process in a month's time.

"In a month or so the first level of screen of the proposals will be over," Sivan said.

Over 130 companies had shown interest in the Indian space agency's lithium-ion cell technology.

In June this year, ISRO had announced its decision to transfer this technology to the Indian industry on a non-exclusive basis for usage in automobiles for Rs 1 crore.

The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre located in Kerala, will transfer the technology to successful Indian industries or start-ups on a non-exclusive basis to establish production facilities in the country that can produce cells of varying sizes, capacities, energy densities and power densities catering to the entire spectrum of power storage requirements, ISRO had said.

At present, the lithium ion battery is the most dominant battery system finding applications for a variety of societal needs including mobile phones, laptops, cameras and many other portable consumer gadgets apart from industrial applications and aerospace.

Recent advances in the battery technology have made it the preferred power source for electric and hybrid electric vehicles also.

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