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Indian Space Agency Set For First Commercial Launch Of Foreign Satellite

The PSLV, capable of carrying 1,000-kilogramme payloads, has previously put in space small, experimental and so-called piggyback satellites for customers including from South Korea, Germany and Belgium. "The PSLV has proved its reliability and versatility with many successes," the ISRO spokesman said. "If this launch too is a success, it will be a good beginning.
by Staff Writers
Bangalore, India (AFP) Apr 12, 2007
India's space agency is to launch an Italian satellite by a home-built rocket this month, its first foreign commercial contract from an overseas customer, a spokesman said Thursday. "April 23rd is the tentative date of the launch," said S. Krishnamurthy, spokesman for the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO.

Preparations are under way for the launch of the Agile satellite from the Sriharikota space station in southern India, Krishnamurthy said.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, or PSLV, the workhorse of the Indian space programme, will blast off with the 360-kilogramme Agile on a mission for the Italian Institute of Astrophysics and the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics.

It's the first time ISRO is launching a foreign satellite as the main payload on commercial terms, said Krishnamurthy, who didn't disclose how much the space agency would receive as payment.

The PSLV, capable of carrying 1,000-kilogramme payloads, has previously put in space small, experimental and so-called piggyback satellites for customers including from South Korea, Germany and Belgium.

"The PSLV has proved its reliability and versatility with many successes," the ISRO spokesman said. "If this launch too is a success, it will be a good beginning.

"We expect more and more people to show interest in using our launch capability," he added.

India, which started its space programme in 1962, developed the PSLV, which has carried out six consecutive successful missions since 1999, to reduce dependence on foreign space agencies.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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PSLV-C8 To Be Launched On April 23
Thiruvananthapuram (PTI) Apr 12, 2007
ISRO is scheduled to launch its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-8 carrying the Italian scientific satellite Agile and India's Advanced Avionics Module (AMM) from Sriharikota on April 23, which will be the first fully commercial launch of Indian space agency.







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