India’s ISRO is gearing up for the launch of six Singapore satellites including a 500kg space observatory in mid-December this year.
Two months after the GSLV’s second continuous success, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has started promoting its commercial arm Antrix’s launch potential of the medium-lift vehicle among international spacecraft manufacturers.
“We are in discussions with many satellite manufacturers across the world for the [already established] PSLV and now the GSLV. There is a very good response to the GSLV,” said V.S. Hegde, Antrix Corporation’s chairman and managing director in a seminar yesterday. He further added that manufacturers from several countries in the US are bidding for our GSLV and there are good opportunities in the 2,000 to 2,200 kg class.
ISRO will use most reliable PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) for launching the satellites into a near-equatorial orbit, inclined 15 degrees lower to the south of equator.
There is shortage of launches in 1,000-1,500 small to medium-sized satellites segment and space agencies will launch satellites in this segment in coming two-three years, for that purpose they will use GSLV, said Hedge. Although, there is high demand for GSLV in the international market but ISRO will focus on fulfilling national demands first, then only it will turn towards other countries.
Of six satellite, one is a 500 kg earth observation spacecraft that will be launched in December. “The 500 kg dedicated satellite (TeLOS-1) will be a commercial launch for Singapore Technologies Electronics Ltd while five other smaller satellites are from Singapore Universities,” said Hedge.
To ensure that these satellites work round the clock and transmit uninterrupted signals, all six satellites will be put in a sun-synchronous polar orbit 550 km above the earth. According to subsidiary company Satcom & Sensor Pte LTD, these satellites will be used for several purposes including monitor environment, disaster management, security purposes, maritime safety, etc.
While being proud Hedge said that Antrix made business of Rs 1,800 crore in 2014 and it is expected to beat previous year record. Hedge expects the Antrix to make business of more than Rs 2,000 crore in the current fiscal year.
Moreover, India will also launch a satellite Aisat — 900 kg dedicated communication satellite for the German space agency (GLR) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh in 2016.
Recently, ISRO launched 6 foreign satellites including one micro satellite each from Canada and Indonesia and four nano satellites from the US while blasting India’s first space observatory satellite, ASTROSAT. As stated on the website of ISRO, it has launched 81 satellites including 51 foreign satellites by PSLV during 1994-2015. On 26 May 1999, ISRO helped foreign nations for the first time by launching two satellites — KITSAT-3 satellite for the Republic of Korea and DLR-TUBSAT of Germany and it took another 16 years to hit the half century.