ISRO poised to rake in big money

Friday, 23 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: With a $100 million contract already under its belt, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is poised to rake in many more millions offering its commercial services to other countries.

Telecommunication, building and launching of commercial satellites and resource hiring are some of the services that ISRO has been offering, its chairman K. Kasturirangan told reporters here Thursday.

"We have already launched four satellites for South Korea, Germany and Belgium. Countries like Canada are also interested in utilising our resources. We have entered into a contract with a couple of other countries," Kasturirangan, in the city to receive an award, said.

He said ISRO would together receive $100 million from these countries in the next 10 years for developing their telecommunication system.

"We are also working with quite a few Indian entrepreneurs so that we can fulfil our basic objective of developing India's space programme. A few SAARC countries have also approached us to build and launch satellites for them."

Kasturirangan said ISRO was also aiming to work on developing civilian space programme. "The launch of an education satellite has already been approved by the government. We hope to launch it within the next 18 months."

He said 2003-2004 would see ISRO launch INSAT 3E, a satellite to be primarily used in resource sensing. The CARTOSAT 1 and 2 will be launched by August.

"These would be used for mapping and surface imaging," the ISRO chief said.

"The launch of INSAT-3A has improved our telecommunication, meteorology and disaster management systems. So, now we plan to launch heavier satellites from Kourou in French Guyana.

"Amongst them are the INSAT 4A and 4B and the GSLV (Mark 3). These will redefine our space technology," added Kasturirangan.
Source: IANS
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