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Indian space agency in talks with global firms to tap markets

India, struggling to find a market for its satellite launch vehicles, is trying to tap global markets by joining a foreign consortium. India is offering its polar satellite launch vehicle capable of launching 1,000-1,200 kilogramme (2,205-2,640-pound) units. Next month it will stage the second flight of its geosynchronous satellite-launch vehicle, which caters for communication satellites. Kasturirangan said ISRO has an agreement with the European Space Agency to incorporate India’s polar satellite launch vehicle in Ariane launches, but is yet to get a contract. ISRO is aiming at similar tie-ups with other established agencies to promote its launch vehicles and is negotiating with firms such as US-based Lockheed Martin.

The corporation has contracts for receiving data from Indian remote sensing satellites in about 13 countries including the United States and Japan. It also has contracts with nations such as Myanmar to provide support to ground stations. But Kasturirangan said ISRO was not keen to see Antrix grow into a large corporation. About 550 small and large Indian firms built systems and parts for the space programme and ISRO said it would further outsource its requirements.