After a series of triumphs in recent years, including the noteworthy launches of Chandrayaan 3 and Aditya L1, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for a significant leap forward. The latest addition to ISRO’s impressive lineup is the development of a more robust rocket, aptly named LVM3.
Despite already having the formidable heavy rocket Mark 3 (LM-3), ISRO found itself relying on a French news agency for launching heavier payloads. With the advent of LVM3, ISRO aims to enhance its self-reliance in space exploration.
In a collaborative effort between ISRO and NewSpace India Ltd. (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Department of Space, the production of LVM3 has commenced under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode. A recent stakeholder meeting saw the active participation of representatives from over 30 companies, signifying the growing interest and support in the project.
In 2022, NSIL joined forces with the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.-Larsen and Toubro Ltd. consortium to manufacture five PSLV rockets. Last year, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for ISRO’s small rocket SSLV, the status of which remains undisclosed.
Now, with the initiation of LVM3 production under PPP mode, NSIL has enlisted the expertise of IIFCL Projects Limited (IPL) to explore potential partnership options within the Indian industry.
NSIL emphasizes the need for a PPP partnership to meet the escalating global demand for launch services, citing the competitive edge it offers. In its call to action, NSIL encourages Indian industries to actively participate as risk-sharing and investment partners, integral to the success of the program.
Analyzing the global launch service market for the next decade, NSIL identifies a substantial demand for launching communication satellites in Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and satellites for mega constellations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). LVM3 emerges as a strategic asset with immense potential to dominate this specialized global launch service market in the coming years.
Notably, the Aditya-L1, launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on September 2, 2023, has further showcased ISRO’s capabilities. Carried by the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL) variant, Aditya-L1 successfully reached its intended orbit at the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1).
Equipped with seven payloads, the spacecraft conducts comprehensive studies of the photosphere, chromosphere, and the sun’s outermost layers (corona) using electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors.
ISRO’s strategic positioning at Lagrange Point L1 allows four payloads to directly observe the Sun, while the remaining three engage in in-situ studies of particles and fields.
This unique vantage point offers valuable insights into the propagatory effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium, marking another milestone in India’s space exploration journey. With the development of LVM3, ISRO is poised to elevate its global standing and carve a niche in the evolving landscape of space exploration and satellite launches.