On March 16, 2022, Dhruva Space signed a commercial launch services agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), for in-orbit demonstration of various technologies developed by Dhruva Space in the Space (spacecraft platform & subsystems such as onboard computer, attitude determination & control system, communication systems, power systems, solar panels) and Launch segments (Dhruva Space Orbital Deployers – DSOD).
The signed agreement between NewSpace India Limited and Dhruva Space is the first step to facilitate future integration and launch services by Dhruva Space using DSOD Deployers on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).
In recent years, the Government of India has taken measures to open the Space sector to private industry. We see more startups emerging in the sectors, the number reportedly at 101 startups, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22. A key to commercial success in the Space industry is the flight heritage of the systems. The signed agreement between NSIL and Dhruva Space will enable the qualification of products in the Space environment and thereby increase the potential to serve customers globally.
Post-agreement signing, Dhruva Space’s initial technology demonstration will begin with its DSOD-1U, a 1U CubeSat Deployer containing an indigenously-made non-pyrotechnic Hold Down and Release Mechanism (HDRM). The 1U Deployer has undergone extensive testing to qualify on-ground for the flight. It can be configured to hold multiple CubeSats and contains redundant sensors for confirmation of satellite deployment. Furthermore, over the next 12 months, Dhruva Space will be testing its 3U, 6U and 12U variants of the CubeSat Deployers.
Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space, said: “The signing of the agreement will contribute in strengthening the cooperation between Dhruva Space and NewSpace India Limited in providing robust demonstrations of Indian industry-made Deep Tech solutions in the global market. We are also grateful for the support from IN-SPACe, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and the Department of Space, Government of India, in our efforts to build indigenous capability in the domain of small satellite technology.”
Dr. Radhakrishnan Durairaj, Chairman & Managing Director, NewSpace India Limited, said: “NewSpace India Limited is delighted to engage with Dhruva Space, a promising Indian space startup, by providing them with the launch services opportunity. I am sure this will, in the coming years, enable Dhruva Space to reach bigger heights. NSIL would extend all necessary support to them in their future space endeavors.”