ISRO developing new rocket to replace PSLV

The new rocket could also be 'reusable'. 

Published: 13th October 2022 04:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th October 2022 04:58 PM   |  A+A-

ISRO chairman S Somanath

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing a rocket named Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) to replace its ageing workhorse the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that was developed in the 1980s.

This was announced by ISRO chairman S Somanath at a press conference on the sidelines of the 'Engineers Conclave 2022' at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiyamala here on Thursday. 

"PSLV was developed in the 1980s and it does not serve the needs of the 2020s. There needs to be an evolution," Somanath said. While refusing to give an exact time frame for retiring PSLV, he said that ISRO will stop using the rocket after completing the remaining launches approved by the government.

Asked specifically about propulsion technology to be used in the NGLV, Somanath said it will use 'semi-cryogenic' technology which is both efficient and cost-effective. He hinted that the new rocket could also be 'reusable'. "A reusable rocket will have a smaller payload than an expendable one. If it is reusable, the payload will be around five tonnes and if it's expendable, it will go up 10 tonnes," he added. Somanath said the payload parameters were arrived at after analysing the current market requirements.

Somanath said the participation of the industry was essential right from the beginning of the new rocket's development. This would ensure that capability is created outside ISRO to build, operate and launch it on a commercial basis. "It is possible for the industry to support and create this rocket (NGLV) as a national asset that can be operated for a sufficient period of time," he said earlier while speaking at the conclave.


Somanath said ISRO is also engaged in discussions with the Union Agriculture Department to develop a 'Bharat Krishi satellite' to study the growth pattern of crops, identify irrigation deficiencies and provide information that will help in pest-control and verification of farm insurance claims besides many other applications.

"We will give support to the Agriculture department. The satellites will be owned and operated by them. A minimum of two satellites will be needed to ensure proper re-visit capability," he added.

The ISRO chairman said the space agency is exploring the possibility of increasing civilian use of the country's indigenous satellite navigation system NaVIC. However, he admitted that the efforts have not given any tangible outcome.

"It is penetrating slowly into the civilian sector. But the primary goal of NaVIC continues to remain as a service to the strategic sectors," he reminded.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp