Indian Space Transportation Systems


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Economic and Performance Analysis of Indian Space Transportation Systems

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  • * Prasad Sundararajan has been an active member of AIAA since 1992 and currently a member of its Economics Technical Committee. He was elected as an Associate Fellow of AIAA in January 2010. He has been involved in aerospace and AIAA related activities for the past 16 years both at the regional and national levels. He is the founder and research director at, an independent open access network on Indian space activities. He holds a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and an MBA from Rollins College, Florida. He also earned an Advanced Project Management Certificate from Stanford University, California. * His primary areas of interest and expertise are in space strategy and policy studies of emerging space powers, comparative economic and technology analysis, and the practical application of internet technologies for knowledge management and disbursement of aerospace related information.
  • 1)Introduction –ISP founded in 1963 with a vision of utilizing space technology for the socio-economic benefits of the Indian Citizens. 2) The Space Application Triad – Telecom (INSAT Series), Remote-Sensing (IRS Series), Meteorology Satellites 3) Autonomy in access to space – Launch Vehicles and satellites development. 4) Maturation of the ISP over the past 45 years along with rapid industrialization and economic growth since the 1990s enable development of powerful rockets for planetary exploration and Human Spaceflight.
  • Department of Space formed in 1972 and the Space Commission comes under the direct leadership of the Indian Prime Minister. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with its various centers located throughout the country is the nodal agency for implementing the space policy goals. Primary Goal of ISRO – Space Applications, Autonomy in access to Space (LVs) and Indigenous Satellite development. Secondary Goal – Technology / Industrial development, Commercialization, International cooperation. Emerging Trend – Dedicated Space Science & Exploration Missions for advancing fundamental research and Human Spaceflight Program development to be a major space power Collaboration with established space powers and commercial launches for foreign payloads
  • Sounding Rockets have been launched from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) since 1963. The first Indian designed and built sounding rocket, Rohini series made its first flight in 1967. ISRO now has a range of indigenous sounding rockets, Rh-200 to RH-560 that can launch 1-100 kg payloads to an altitude of 60-600 km for studies in meteorology, aeronomy, atmospheric studies and x-ray astronomy. India’s first space launch vehicle, SLV-3 was launched on July 10, 1979 that failed due to problems in the second stage motor. The first successful Indian space launch was on July 18, 1980 when it placed a ROHINI satellite in a 300x900 km elliptical orbit. Two more successful SLV-3 launches were carried out in 1981 and 1983. ASLV, an augmented SLV-3 launch vehicle formed the second generation of SLV-3 rockets. It formed the base structure for the operational PSLV rockets. Chandrayaan-1 – India’s First Deep Space Mission successfully launched by Indigenous PSLV-XL, orbital maneuvers to 100 KM lunar polar orbit, Scientific observation by Indian and International (NASA/ESA/ Bulgaria) instruments.
  • PSLV rockets are Indian’s first operational launch vehicles capable of placing 1,600 kg of payloads to sun-synchronous orbits and upto 1,000 kg payloads to GTO. The basic variant of PSLV consists of four stages (Solid+Liquid+Solid+Solid). It comes in various configurations as shown. PSLV was developed to place Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites for earth observation. PSLV is the workhorse launch vehicle of ISRO with 16 consecutive successful launches to its credit including the successful launch of India’s first deep space mission, Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft on October 22, 2008 that was eventually placed on a 100 km lunar polar orbit. It is also slated to launch India’s first dedicated astronomy satellite, the multi-wavelength ASTROSAT-1 in 2011.
  • 1) ISRO started the development of GSLV rocket program to achieve capability to launch telecommunication satellites to the GTO. India’s INSAT series are one of the largest telecom constellation in the Asia-Pacific region. 2) GSLV consists of three stages: (Solid+Liquid+Cryogenic). The first successful flight was on April 18, 2001. The current GSLV rockets utilize Russian made cryogenic engines. In 1992, US pressed Russia to cancel the technology transfer citing dual-use under MTCR. 3) ISRO has embarked on the indigenous development of a larger cryogenic engine for GSLV Mk2 and GSLV mk3 rockets. The first flight of GSLV with Indian cryogenic rocket failed during its first test flight on April 15, 2010. ISRO has identified the error as the non-supply of liquid hydrogen to the cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) and is planning another test-flight by 2011. 4) A larger GSLV mk3 is under development for placing 4,000-5,000 kg payloads to the GTO. It would also form the basic configuration for India’s planned Human spaceflight program.
  • India’s space launch facilities are located in the Sriharikotta Island situated in the Bay of Bengal about 100 KM North from the southern city of Chennai. Launch Pads one and two are in operation supporting PSLV and GSLV rockets. Third launch pad is under development for Human Spaceflight, heavy lift rockets and future Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV).
  • Human Spaceflight (HSF) Program is a major initiative for ISRO and has been approved by the Indian Planning Commission and the phase 1 budget for an unmanned flight with orbital capsule by PSLV followed by a GSLV rocket in 2013-14 have been approved. HSF Program is seen as a natural progression for ISRO, given the more than four decades of space heritage of the Indian Space Program and inline with Indian economic growth and technical capabilities. Also, with a strategic objective to keep up with the much larger Chinese space program. Expected to cost about $2.5 Billion. (to be accomplished by 2015-16).
  • Future STS technology development consists of Semi-cryogenic engine with liquid oxygen and kerosene for high-thrust and low-cost Air Breathing Propulsion (Scramjet) and Reusable Launch Vehicle – TD as a forerunner for TSTO – two stage to orbit.
  • 1) Indian Space Program Budget – about $1.3 Billion in 2010-11. 2) About 0.08 % of the Indian GDP of $1.3 Trillion (Real$ 2009). 3) Space Transportation Systems accounts for the bulk of the budget at 37% 4) Human Spaceflight Program to cost about $2.5 billion (2010-15)
  • Emphasis on LV development (GSLV mk3 and indigenous Cryogenic and kerosene based engines), satellite development and ground segment development. Major STS infrastructure upgrades and facilities for GSLV mk3, HSF program and future ATV and RLV-TD programs.
  • The US leads in the very heavy lift LVs. Ariane 5 ECA is the Commercial leader. Chinese and Indian rockets provide low-cost access to SPACE Space-X (Falcon-9+) may change the paradigm for low-cost access by private enterprises.
  • ISP founded in 1963 with a vision of utilizing space technology for the socio-economic benefits of the Indian Citizens. 2) The Space Application Triad – One of the largest constellation of Telecom (INSAT Series – increased TV coverage from 26% in 1980 to 90% in 2000) and the World’s largest civilian Remote Sensing (IRS Series) Satellites constellation. 3) Emphasis on indigenous development of Satellites, LVs and advanced technologies to position the nation as a space power of merit and collaboration 4) Indigenous efforts in space transportation systems (STS) to avoid technology denial regimes of political and commercial nature. 4) Increasing national economic growth and integration with global economy (6-8% average national GDP growth since 1990s) directly benefiting ISP with raising budget allocation and dedicated space exploration missions and the ambitious human spaceflight program.
  • Indian Space Transportation Systems

    1. 1. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsAIAA SPACE 2010 ConferenceAnaheim, CAByPrasad SundararajanAugust 31, 2010
    2. 2. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsIndian Space Program (ISP) Application Oriented - Telecom, Remote Sensing, Meteorology Strategic Framework – Space Policy Goals Autonomy in access to SPACEEvolution of Indian Space Transportation Systems (STS) Sounding Rockets – Atmospheric Research SLV-3 and ASLV – Reaching the LEO PSLV – SSO and Beyond– Space Capsule Recovery Experiment: SRE 1 (2007) & SRE 2 (2010) GSLV – GTO and Planetary Exploration Human Spaceflight Program – first mission by 2015-16 Planetary Exploration– Future Missions to Mars (2014), Asteroids/ Comets (2016)and Outer Solar System (2018+)Indian STS – Technology DevelopmentIndian STS - Economics
    3. 3. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    4. 4. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsEvolution of Indian Space Launch Vehicles Development
    5. 5. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsPSLV – The Workhorse Indian STS
    6. 6. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsGSLV – Medium Lifter to GTO
    7. 7. Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation SystemsSDSC-SHARFirst Launch Pad(PSLV)Second Launch Pad(PSLV, GSLV, GSLV MKIII)Third Launch Pad(HSF, RLV)Solid PropellantSpace BoosterPlantLiquid Storage& ServiceFacilityVehicleAssembly andStatic TestQuality &ReliabilityRangeOperations &ControlOrbital VehiclePreparation FacilityCrew Training CenterManagementIndian Space Launch Facilities - Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC)
    8. 8. Human Spaceflight ProgramObjectives: Develop a fully autonomous manned spacevehicle to carry two crew to 400 km LEO and safereturn to earth after mission duration of few orbitsto 2 days extendable up to 7 days. Rendezvous and docking capability with spacestation/ orbital platform, safety provisions andprovision for extra vehicular activity.Timeline: 2016 (Launch by Indian GSLV)Technology Development:Human Rated GSLV Rocket and Orbital CapsuleCrew Module and escape system (for 2 to 3)Critical technology development areas, astronauttraining, Vehicle SimulatorCollaboration with Russia for a 2013 SoyuzMission with Indian cosmonaut and TechnicalcooperationIndian Human Spaceflight Program(LEO Mission)Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    9. 9. STS - Technology DevelopmentATV: Development of an air breathing propulsion(SCRAMJET) powered advanced technologyvehicle (ATV) capable of placing 200-400 kgpayloads up to an altitude of 800 km. Research platform for studies of upperatmosphere and as a launch vehicle for Microand Nano satellites.RLV-TD: Reusable Launch Vehicle – TechnologyDemonstration (RLV-TD) is conceived as awing-body vehicle to be boosted by a rocket,that performs a hypersonic reentry for recoveryfrom the Indian Ocean.Economic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    10. 10. Indian Space Program - EconomicsEconomic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    11. 11. Indian Space Transportation Systems (STS) - EconomicsEconomic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    12. 12. Comparison of Global Space Launch VehiclesEconomic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems
    13. 13. Indian Space Program (ISP) Founding vision – Utilize space assets for socio-economic benefits Telecom (INSAT Series), Remote-Sensing (IRS Series), MeteorologySatellites Emerging Trend – Dedicated Space Exploration Missions and HSF Program Indigenous capability in Launch Vehicles and all facets of space explorationIndian Space Transportation Systems (STS)PSLV Rockets for SSO (1,600 kg) and GTO (up to 1,000 kg payload)GSLV Rockets for GTO (2,500 kg) with Russian cryogenic upper stageGSLV mk2 with Indigenous cryogenic upper stage and GSLV mk3 (5,000 kg)Human Spaceflight Program (HSF) - First Mission by 2015-16Development of semi-cryogenic engine, air breathing propulsion andreusable launch vehicles in the next 5-6 years.Findings & ConclusionEconomic and Performance Analysis ofIndian Space Transportation Systems