BENGALURU: Despite the recent failure of the PSLV-C39 launch, Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has orders worth Rs 800 crore for the next five years.
With speculation rife about the adverse impact of the launch failure on the Indian space industry, Antrix CMD Rakesh Sashibhushan said such setbacks were a part and parcel of the space business. "Even SpaceX which was supposed to have very stable production, has suffered more serious setbacks than this. This is not a serious one. All stages have been done. Testing is being done. Demand keeps increasing. We had a meeting with our international business customers even yesterday. This won’t have any impact on Antrix orders,” he said.
With Rs 1,991 crore turnover in 2016-17, Antrix is positive about making a mark on the $260 billion satellite services market.
“A lot of companies are offering cheaper launch vehicles, probably to undercut us. But the move to waive GST on launch services provided to international customers is welcome. We are waiting for a notification regarding the same," Sashibhushan said.
Domestic customers however, have to pay 18 per cent GST. The GST Council is likely to meet on September 17 to announce its decision.
As Kiran Kumar, chairman of ISRO and secretary in the Department of Space, said at the silver jubilee celebration of Antrix, “Companies like Space X and Virgin Galactic are building small launchers. There are others who are offering a one-way ticket to Mars. Launch vehicle technology is a risky business and yet there are Indian companies like Bellatrix Aerospace that are offering Garuda and Chetak. Their presence means that they are willing to take the risk.”
Bellatrix develops orbital launch vehicles that includes Garuda, a launch vehicle under development and Chetak a nano satellite launch vehicle.