India will launch four foreign satellites in 2014-15 in the Earth’s lower orbit, using its workhorse polar rocket, an Indian space agency official said Friday.
“Our commercial arm Antrix Corporation has signed agreements with a British firm Jan 29 and a Singapore agency Wednesday to launch their spacecraft onboard our polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV),” an official of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS here.
The customers are DMC International Imaging, a subsidiary of the Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., for launching its three 350-kg disaster monitoring satellites and ST Electronics (Satcom and Sensor Systems) Pte. Ltd., Singapore, for launch of its 400-kg TeLEOS-1 earth observation satellite.
“The launches will take place between 2014-15 when we receive the spacecraft from the customers. Details of weight of satellites, instruments to be taken onboard and their location in the polar (north-south) orbit will be worked out in coming months,” the official said.
The satellites will be launched from the Indian spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh off the Bay of Bengal.
The space agency is working towards launching SPOT-7, a French satellite onboard the PSLV with four micro-satellites in March/April.
“We are on track to launch Spot-7 in the next two months with four smaller satellites,” the official said.
An Indian rocket placed SPOT-6 in the earth’s lower orbit Sep 8, 2012.
The SPOT (Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre) is a constellation with a high-resolution optical imaging earth observation satellite system operated by the French space agency CNES (Centre National D’etudes Spatiales) at Toulouse since 1986.
The space agency had earlier bagged a contract to launch an 800-kg German satellite EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Programme) and a set of Canadian satellites this calendar year.
Antrix, which posted a revenue of Rs.1,300 crore in last fiscal (2012-13), is projected to grow 15 percent in this fiscal (2013-14)
The space agency has launched 35 foreign satellites over the last decade-and-a-half.