India’s space agency will launch two Russian satellites during 2006-08 as part of its programme for international cooperation on a commercial basis. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G Madhavan Nair has recently said his agency had a firm contract with Russia to launch the satellites to restore the Glonass navigation network. The global navigation satellite system or Glonass is an international project involving 30 countries.
Of the 24 satellites in the constellation, 11 satellites have already been placed in geo-stationary orbit and the remainder are to be launched in coming years. The Russian-built satellites will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh using an Indian rocket, the geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), between 2006 and 2008. ISRO is also scheduled to launch the Agile satellite for Italy in the next year for multiple space applications.