BENGALURU: Setting its sights high, Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), hopes to rake in revenue of Rs 2,000-2,200 crore from its commercial operations in the upcoming financial year. The space agency had registered revenue of Rs 1,700 crore in 2018-19.
Talking to TNSE on the sidelines of an event at Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship (XIME), Bengaluru, on Saturday, Antrix Corporation Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Sasibhushan said the revenue will be shared between the corporation and New Space India Limited, a new commercial arm of ISRO. It was established in March 2019 for collaborating with the private sector in the manufacture of launch vehicles.
On the order book, Rakesh said the space agency has Rs 800 crore worth of launches in the pipeline. “There are three dedicated launches booked so far, from the USA and Singapore,” he said.
As of now, the Antrix does not see any revenue from the third launchpad that ISRO is setting up near Kulashekhrapattinam in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. “The launch pad will be captively used by ISRO for small satellite launches. One launch has already been planned,” he added.
In December 2019, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, had mentioned about the government’s proposal for a launchpad in Tamil Nadu. The space agency already has two launch pads at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The need for additional launch pads has arisen as a result of the increase in the number of satellite launches from India — both for domestic and international customers. ISRO has conducted 13 launches from its two launch pads since 2018 alone.
ISRO plans to have its own training facilities for astronauts at Challakere in Chitradurga district for future human spaceflight missions. This will eliminate the need to send astronauts for training in Russia. For Gaganyaan, India’s first manned space mission scheduled to be launched by 2022, the Mysuru-based DRDO lab Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) is setting the menu for the astronauts.