ISRO focusing on more launches

Sriharikota, Sept 26: With today's successful launch of eight satellites, including India's SCATSAT-1, space agency ISRO is focusing on more launches including that of a communication satellite from French Guiana next month.

"Today's multi-orbit mission has proved PSLV's ability and talks are already on with Algeria for more launches," ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters. Besides SCATSAT-1, the PSLV C-35 had injected two Indian university satellites, PRATHAM and PISAT, three from Algeria-- ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N and one each from the US and Canada--Pathfinder-1 and NLS-19, respectively, in different orbits.


ISRO has launched 79 satellites for 21 countries, he said. The space agency's forthcoming launches include that of communication satellite GSAT 18 from French Guiana next month even as GSLV Mk III is planned to be launched by the year end. Resourcsesat 2A is scheduled to be launched in November this year, he said.

Kumar also batted for more industry participation in ISRO's endeavour to further boost commercial launches for foreign vendors. When asked about ISRO's orderbook, Antrix corporation Chairman and Managing Director S Rakesh said it was about Rs 280 crore for the next 2-3 years.

Antrix revenue was Rs 1,790 crore during the year and Rs 1,717 crore in the previous year. He said the company was growing and looking to consolidate on ISRO's performance to generate more revenue. Work was on on other satellites including Chandrayaan 2 and SAARC satellite, Kumar said even as he noted that Pakistan had opted out of the latter. Some "issues" with Afghanistan and Bangladesh were "being sorted out," he added.


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