28 July, 2021

‘Satellites Are Our Priority Now, Not Human Space Flight’

Having solved key technology bottlenecks, ISRO now aims at launching a PSLV built by a private industry by 2020, says the chairman.

Photograph by Kashif Masood
‘Satellites Are Our Priority Now, Not Human Space Flight’

India’s space agency is pushing through at a hectic pace, having solved key technology bottlenecks that had so far taken up much of its attention. It is also working on a joint venture, aiming at the first launch of a PSLV built by private industry by 2020, says ISRO chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar in an interview with Ajay Sukumaran. Edited excerpts:

The pace of launches has picked up in the past couple of years. Can you take us through this?

In January 2014, we had the successful ind­igenous engine and that December we also did a Mk III trial. That means we had overcome a significant amount of problems and got to a point where we could take stock and push things ahead.

What will be the road ahead?

Last year, we did about 10 activities with respect to overall launch, inc­luding our Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology demonstrator and air-breathing propulsion systems. This year too we want to do at least that many launches and have done four so far. We want to...

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