- The establishment of NSIL was announced in Budget 2019.
- One of the mandates of NSIL is to mass-produce and manufacture the SSLV and the more powerful PSLV in partnership with the private sector in India through technology transfers.
- Its aim is to use research and development carried out by ISRO over the years for commercial purposes through Indian industry partners.
- It differs from ISRO’s existing commercial arm Antrix Corporation:
- Antrix will handle ISRO’s commercial deals for satellites and launch vehicles with foreign customers.
- NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.
Small Satellite Launch Vehicle
- The SSLV is the smallest vehicle weighing only 110-tonne.
- It would take only 72 hours to integrate, unlike the 70 days taken for launch vehicles like Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle(GSLV).
- Cost-effective: Its cost would be around Rs. 30 crores.
- It will be an on-demand vehicle.
- SSLV is perfectly suited for launching multiple microsatellites at a time and supports multiple orbital drop-offs.
- The SSLV can carry satellites weighing up to 500 kg to Low Earth Orbit while the PSLV can launch satellites weighing in the range of 1,000 kg.
- A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude above the Earth’s surface of 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi), and an orbital period between about 84 and 127 minutes.
- ISRO’s SSLV was originally scheduled to have its first development flight on July 2019 but got delayed to end of 2019.