“So, the idea is the next rocket that we are going to build after GSLV Mk III should be a reusable rocket,” he added at the inaugural session of the international conference and exhibition.
ISRO, Mr Somanath said, has been working on various technologies, including the one demonstrated with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD), last week. “We will have to have a retro-propulsion to land it (rocket back on earth)”.
Combining these technologies, ISRO would like to design and build a new rocket which will be reusable, in partnership with industry, startups and its commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).
“This is the idea and we are working on that idea. That idea cannot be ISRO’s alone. It has to be an industry’s idea. So, we will have to work with them in designing a new rocket, not only designing it, engineering it, manufacturing it and launching it as a commercial product and operating it in a commercial manner,” he said.
“So, it’s a big shift from what we do today,” he pointed out. “I would like to see this (proposal) taking shape in the next few months.”
“We would like to see such a rocket, a rocket which will be competitive-enough, a rocket that will be cost-conscious, production-friendly which will be built in India but operated globally for the services of the space sector. This should happen in the next few years so that we can retire all those operating launch vehicles (in India) at appropriate time,” he said.