‘Efforts on to reduce cost of launch vehicles’

Dr PS Veeraraghavan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, on Thursday said efforts were being made in research labs across the country to lower the cost of development of launch vehicles.

Dr Veeraraghavan was talking at the inaugural function of the three-day annual seminar & exhibition on aerospace and related mechanisms by Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE). Among others present at the event were Dr Prahlada, vice-chancellor, Defence Institute of Advance Technology, Dr Baba Kalyani, managing director, Bharat Forge, and George Koshy, president, Tiruvananthapuram chapter of Indian National Society for Aerospace and Related Mechanism.

Veeraraghavan essentially talked about the economics of the space research industry and the challenges which need to be confronted in order to successfully economise the industry. "In order to reduce the cost, we are working on the development of reusable launch vehicles," he said. Veeraraghavan said another method to lower costs is to use air breathing propulsion system in launch vehicles. "We also need to design the launch vehicles accurately so as to improve its efficiency and reliability. This will lead to less accidents and hence lower the cost of space missions," added Veeraraghavan.

Veeraraghavan underlined various challenges in reducing the cost of the launch vehicles including the problems faced in producing a Very High Temperature Thermal System and in the development of Very High Pressure Load. Secondly, developing a light weight material with high strength is also a very big challenge in front of scientists, he said. Talking about the ongoing project to launch Chandrayaan 2, the joint lunar mission proposed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Russian federal space agency, Veeraraghavan said the Chandrayaan 2 will have an orbiter, a lander and a rover out of which lander will be manufactured by Russia.

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