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NSIL’s GSLV MK3 will compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is one of the most capable rockets in use right now. They are powerful, reusable and have a high success rate. The Falcon 9 used currently has already been utilised 9 times and will be used at least once more. Till now, SpaceX didn’t have any competition for their Falcon 9. But now NSIL has plans to use the GSLV MK3 to target the same clients as Falcon 9. This will be a big move for the organisation and will make sure that SpaceX is not the only company exploring space and signing contracts.

GSLV MK3 vs the Falcon 9

The GSLV MK3 can carry 4 tonnes of anything to the geostationary satellite or the GTO and 10 tonnes to the lower earth orbit. And this amount is much less than Falcon 9’s 8.3 tonnes and 22 tonnes capacity for the respective orbit. Well, now you might be thinking that is a huge negative for the Indian launch vehicle. The answer is kinda yes, it is a bummer, but it’s not a huge negative. In fact, a smaller vehicle has some advantages for then MK3.

GSLV Mk3

Image Source: The Economic Times

The Technical and Strategic director of the NSIL said that the main target for their new launch vehicles will be the ones who want to launch their satellites through a dedicated rocket. This is because if these same customers want to use Falcon 9 for the launch they will need to wait for another satellite for the launch, as the rocket can launch two satellites at once. In fact, almost all communication satellites weigh between 4-5 tonnes which makes it possible for the GSLV MK3 to be used in any launch.

Further plans with the launch vehicle

NSIL is already in talks with ISRO to take the launch vehicle under their fold. These rockets will also be used in future space missions by organisations. NSIL has also talked with One-web that is building a broadband satellite constellation like SpaceX’s Starlink and they plan to provide launch services with the MK3 rocket. In fact, if the deal between One-Web and NSIL is finalized it will be a long-term one. This is because the satellites that One-Web are launching needs to be replaced every 5 years.

More in the future the NSIL MK3 will also be used for the Gaganyaan mission in 2023. The company has also been planning to work with firms to build  PSLV rockets for them. Launches of lighter satellites can use the PSLV that has less launch capacity. Many Indian startups could very soon start working with NSIL on future space projects. And many could even use their vehicle to launch their own communication satellite to orbit.


What are your thoughts on the NSIL MK3 competing with the Falcon 9? And do you think that India’s space organisation will be able to give a tough competition to SpaceX? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative do like it and share it with your friends.

Also Read: SpaceX plans on connecting Aircraft to Starlink

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