ISRO aims for global market for launch vehicles

Kochi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is hoping to capture a 10 per cent share in the global market for launch vehicles and related services, says its chairman, G Madhavan Nair.

At a press conference in Kochi, Nair disclosed that ISRO had earned Rs300 crore last year from launch services and sale of satellite data and rocket sub-systems and its revenue from the market was growing at 25 per cent per annum. He said it was tough to establish a presence in a market flooded with low-price launchers.

Without mentioning the financial arrangement, he said ISRO's polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) would launch a 350kg Italian satellite, Agile, in to space next year. three or four other countries had also evinced interest in using the services of CARTOSAT-1, he added.

CARTOSAT-2, which would be launched in six months, would be capable of taking three-dimensional images of one-metre resolution from a 600-km high orbit. The maps produced from it would be used for town planning.

The stereoscopic images produced by CARTOSAT-1 were the first of its kind in the world and ISRO had successfully superimposed the images from RESOURCESAT-1 on images from CARTOSAT to produce composite three-dimensional moving images that looked as if these were photographed from an over-flying aircraft.

Nair said that there were no immediate plans to use CARTOSAT-1 for defence applications. The first year of its operation had already been reserved for civilian applications. ISRO was collaborating with the Electronics Corporation of India for the development of antenna systems for deep space communication. "We believe in building our own antenna. The system would have to be purchased from abroad only if the mission is advanced to next year. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre here is developing an impactor for the moon mission. It will analyse the moon's atmosphere as it descends to the ground and then analyse the soil for minerals."

He added there was no roadblock before the proposed Chandrayan mission.