TS News - India To Use Own Launcher

TELE-satellit News, 20 November 1996

India To Use Own Launcher
  NEW DELHI, India, 96/11/20 (SatND) -- It's just peanuts compared to other
commercial launches, of course, but Russia's space industry will likely
lose a launch order worth roughly US$15 million. India has decided to have
its next remote sensing satellite IRS-1D put into orbit by an indigenous
launcher instead of a Russian Molniya booster.

  The Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) was successfully
launched last March, lifting the 930-kg IRS-P3 satellite into an orbit some
800 km above the earth. Officials said the experimental phase has ended,
making the PSLV the obvious choice for launching the country's satellites.

  A PSLV launch is reportedly costing just US10 million. So far, India's
IRS satellites were launched aboard Russian rockets. A separate deal that
calls for Russia to deliver three cryogenic upper stages for an Indian
Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is not affected by the
possible re-orientation of India's space programme. The stages are expected
to be delivered in the first quarter of 1997.

  By: Peter Klanowski
  Source: Sat-ND
(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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