New Delhi: Executive director of Antrix Corporation, KR Sridhara Murthi, has said that the Antrix Corporation along with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had recently bagged another contract for assembling a communication satellite. The order has been received from Avanti Screenmedia, a London-based satellite communication company. The communications satellite would be made ready for a possible 2009 launch. Antrix is a marketing arm of the Department of Space.
According to Sridhara Murthi, the transponders for the satellite would be sourced from Europe, while the satellite platform will be built at ISRO facilities in Bangalore.
The space agency had signed a contract with Eutelsat in February last year to build a communications satellite in collaboration with aerospace major, European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS). EADS will provide transponders for the satellite, the EADS-Astrium, which will be built by ISRO.
As each of these satellites will weigh more than four tones, Antrix will have to scout for an international launch vehicle, as ISRO launch vehicles are capable of only sub-four-tonne launches.
So far ISRO has launched six foreign satellites, which have ridden piggyback on domestic payloads. It is due to launch an Italian satellite 'Agile' using the indigenously developed Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which is slated to be the first exclusive launch for an international satellite.
ISRO is also due to launch six micro satellites, with a combined weight of 24 kg, later this year.
As in the case of the contract with the EADS-Astrium, ISRO would also provide the satellite platform and assemble the satellite while Avanti Screenmedia would provide the transponders.
While the EADS-Astrium satellite would be launched in 2008, the one being built for Avanti Screenmedia is slated for a 2009 launch.