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India eyes global satellite launch market, Centre

India is eyeing a share in the global satellite launch market and has secured four dedicated launch service contracts with foreign customers, the government told Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“With the emergence of global broadband communication needs, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) envisages launches of several of these foreign satellites onboard ISRO’s SSLV, PSLV and GSLV-MkIII,” Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said in a written reply.

The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is India’s newest launch vehicle to put smaller satellites in low earth orbit. Its first developmental flight is expected in May.

Earlier this month, ISRO had successfully carried out the ground testing of the newly developed solid booster stage (SS1) for SSLV.

Singh said NSIL, a central public sector enterprise under Department of Space, has earned a foreign exchange revenue of 35 million dollars and 10 million euros during the last three years – 2019-21, through launching satellites of various private and international agencies.

He said NSIL has already launched 45 international customer satellites on-board ISRO’s PSLV during the last three years and has secured four dedicated launch service contracts for foreign satellite customers.

Singh said NSIL, through participation in various international conferences and exhibitions, is ensuring a better footprint of ISRO’s expertise in building earth observation and communications satellites, providing launch and mission support services including establishment of ground segments for foreign customers to ensure enhanced foreign exchange revenue earnings for the country.

In reply to a separate question, Singh said as part of reforms, the government has opened up the space sector for private participation to carry out end-to-end activities.

The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) shall act as the agency to promote, handhold and authorize private sector activities in the sector, besides enabling sharing of technical facilities and expertise from ISRO, he said.

With the operationalization of IN-SPACe, the progressively evolving regulatory environment and creation of space industries association in the form of Indian Space Association, a greater private sector participation in end-to-end space activities is expected, which may result in increased share of India in the global space economy, Singh said. PTI

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