Chennai-based ST Advanced Composites sees good traction in satellite segment

Chennai-based ST Advanced Composites, that made the metallic and carbon fibre structure of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) moon rover Rashid, is seeing good business in the space satellite segment, said a top company official.

He official said the company is als looking at the space debris clearance segment partnering with a foreign company.

The company fabricated the UAE’s moon rover’s structure on which other payloads are loaded. The rover will emerge from the Japan-made lander Hakuto-R and go around the lunar surface.

The Hakuto-R lander carrying the Rashid rover was carried by Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket Falcon on December 11.

“It will take about two months for the lander to land on the moon,” Dr. Devendran Thirunavukarasu, Director, ST Advanced Composites, told IANS.

“We are seeing good traction in the domestic space segment. We are working with a couple of private satellite makers. We have done work for the Indian space agency through their vendors,” Thirunavukarasu added.

Even though India’s attempt to land its lander on the moon and roll out its rover on the lunar surface had failed a while ago, there is still an Indian connection to the UAE’s Rashid.

Recalling about bagging the order for Rashid rover, Thirunavukarasu said: “We got an enquiry and responded to that. We got a sample order in 2020. On successful completion of that, we got the order to make the ground model of the lunar rover. Following the successful completion, we got the final order in 2021.

“In space missions, we are talking about materials that are at least 10 times lighter and five times stronger than steel. We built the rover’s structures using magnesium alloy, carbon fibre, and aluminium.”

He said ST Advanced Composites is doing satellite communication antennas and also is working with several companies catering to Indian defence establishment.

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