India plans to double its annual satellite launches and put into space up to 25 spacecraft in a USD two billion exercise spread over the next five years as it moves to take advantage of booming demand for capacity, top Indian Space Research Organisation officials say.
New Delhi has targeted to boost the number of transponders India currently has from 199 to 500 by the end of the 11th five year plan (March 2012), Secretary in the Department of Space G Madhavan Nair said.
"On the average, we may have about four to five launches in a year compared to hardly two that we are (currently) doing annually", Nair, also Chairman of ISRO and the Space Commission, told PTI in an interview.
"That's one of the major loads not only on ISRO but on industry and other establishments in the country", he said.
ISRO officials estimate the cost involved in building these satellites and launching them in the region of Rs 8,000 crore-Rs 9,000 crore (approximately $two billion-2.25 billion).
Bangalore-headquartered India's space agency plans to launch as many as 15 INSAT-class satellites and 8-10 remote sensing spacecraft by 2012 as it moves to stay ahead of the demand curve.