Mumbai, India, July 18, 2007: ISRO is planning to launch an Israeli satellite from Sriharikota. The launch is expected to cost approximately $15 million.
Experts say that Israel opted for the Indian PSLV for two reasons: It displays Israel’s confidence in the Indian rocket over its own Shavit rocket, which has run into several operational problems over the years. Secondly, the Israeli defence ministry has laid down new orbital requirements for TechSar which Shavit could not provide. The new requirements are aimed at giving TechSar a wider coverage area.
This will be India’s second dedicated commercial launch this year; in April, it carried an Italian satellite called Agile.
Once in orbit, the India-launched Israeli satellite will be controlled by the Israeli defence ministry. If the mission succeeds, it will be the second spy satellite launched by India. The first one was India’s own Technology Experiment Satellite (TES), which was carried by the PSLV on October 22, 2001.