Pradeep's Space Newsletter #21

NSIL and other Space Reads

NewSpace India Ltd.

NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL) will play an important role in the future development of the space ecosystem in India.

In the last section of my edition #20 of my newsletter, I had used the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report to guess how the split between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NSIL would work out.

DoS had informed the Standing Committee that while ISRO would be in charge of advanced research, human spaceflight and interplanetary missions, NSIL would be in charge of other areas of operation.

On the next day, NSIL held a press conference at ISRO Headquarters. ISRO tweeted -

In the press meet, NSIL informed that they were beneficiaries of the recent opening up of the space sector in India through space reforms. NSIL began with a mandate to produce and operate launch vehicles. They were also allowed to produce and develop other space based services.

In the initial years of their operation, they were focused on launch vehicle services. They had issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for an industry or a consortium of industries to build the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). They have purchased 5 PSLV launches for the launch of 45 payloads. The first one was the PSLV-C51 carrying the Amazonia-1 for INPE, Brazil.

They said that ISRO was finding it challenging to balance production of launch vehicles and satellites on one side and do research and development on the other. Hence, in June 2020, NSIL’s mandate was enhanced.

With the new mandate they were allowed to own and operate “capital-intensive space assets” like launch vehicles and satellites.

With the new mandate, NSIL says it will first change the approach towards how space services are procured. Currently, it is supply driven. So, ISRO builds a satellite and then looks for end-users for that service. NSIL would change the paradigm towards demand driven. So, NSIL will assess the need for a satellite or launch vehicle from end-users and then procure the same.

Communication Satellites

Contrary to what I wrote on my blog, NSIL is not yet procuring ALL of ISRO’s satellites not yet. I was wrong in my statements there.

For now, NSIL will be procuring two communication satellites. One is for a DTH application. They are also surveying end-users to understand their requirements.

Impact of NSIL

NSIL will be a competitor to NewSpace companies. Those companies building launch vehicles and satellites would find it harder to build and sell their products. Competing with launch vehicles like PSLV, GSLV and the upcoming SSLV.

Space Reads

On my Blog