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ISRO to launch European satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will for the first time launch a European satellite into the polar orbit using the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) next year.

ISRO chairman, G. Madhavan Nair told reporters in Bangalore last week that the space organisation had signed the $10-million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch the Italian satellite on behalf of the European Union.

“It will be the first time ISRO will be launching a separate foreign payload on board the PSLV from the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The deal signals the agency’s foray into the space market in a big way,” Nair stated.

ISRO has already proved its space technology prowess by launching satellites in the polar orbit with its indigenously built PSLV.

Through the marketing agency of the space department, Antrix Corporation Ltd, the agency had placed three satellites in the polar sun-synchronous orbit in October 2001, including PROBA of Belgium and BIRD of Germany under commercial agreements.

Source : IANS