Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro)’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation has signed up contracts to launch 23 satellites from foreign countries. So far, Isro has launched 51 satellites for other countries.
Out of 23 foreign satellites, two will go in separate rockets and 21 will piggy-back on bigger Indian satellites.
Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said the next Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch, expected in November, will be a commercial one.
Isro will soon launch six satellites from Singapore, which together weigh around 660 kg, in this mission. The bigger of the six is an earth observation satellite weighing 410 kg; two are micro satellites weighing 130 kg and 80 kg, respectively; and the remaining three are nano satellites cumulatively weighing 30 kg.
Isro will also launch five small satellites from the US before 2016 as a piggy-back luggage.
Antrix Corporation had signed with US parties to launch nine small satellites, out of which four were launched on Monday as a piggy-back luggage to Astrosat, India’s first space observatory.
Better industry collaboration.
According to Isro, over the next four years, Indian industries would be able to build its workhorse PSLV.
“Towards this, we have started the process of interacting with them (industries),” Kumar told reporters. after the launch of Astrosat workhorse PSLV in its 31st launch flight.
K Sivan, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, said industrial contribution has been increasing steadily with 70 per cent of the control components directly supplied by industries. Going forward, Sivan hopes this to be 100 per cent. Through 30 successful flights during the 1994-2015 period, PSLV has launched 84 satellites so far, out of which seven were successfully launched on Monday.
The launch vehicle has repeatedly proven its reliability and versatility by successfully launching satellites into a variety of orbits.
So far, 51 satellites have been launched by PSLV for customers from abroad.
Monday’s launch was facilitated by Antrix Corporation. Kumar said all the seven navigation satellites, which are part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, would be in place in 2016.
Isro is expected to launch the Saarc satellite - announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi a year ago as India’s ‘gift’ to Saarc countries - by the end of next year.
“Sri Lanka has already given its clearance for the satellite's configuration and we are awaiting clearance from other countries also,” said Kumar.
According to him, the satellite will weigh two tonnes and have 12 transponders. Each Saarc nation will be given one transponder configured to provide data for that particular country's requirement. There will be four transponders for spreading information on many areas, including tele-medicine, Kumar added.