Jun 01, 2011

'India to launch 12 foreign satellites'

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BANGALORE: India has bagged multi-million dollar contracts to launch 12 foreign satellites in the lower orbit from its spaceport over the next two years, a top space agency official said Wednesday.

“Through our commercial arm Antrix Corporation, we have received orders from Canada, Indonesia, Germany and other European countries to launch a dozen satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit during the next two years,” state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters here.

Of the 12 satellites, four are from Canada, two each from Indonesia and Germany and one from Luxembourg. The remaining three spacecraft are from universities in Europe.

“We have an order from Germany to launch an 800-kg dedicated satellite (N-Map) for environmental studies. The other satellites, weighing between 80-100 kg will be launched on board our polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs) as additional payloads along with Indian communications or remote-sensing satellites,” an Antrix official said.

Antrix is also in negotiations with France to launch a remote sensing satellite (EnMAP) in the lower orbit.

India has already launched a total of 26 foreign satellites during the past decade for various countries, including Germany, Italy, Israel, Korea and Singapore.