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ISRO eyes more satellite launches from Europe, US

Indian Space Research Organisation has reached an understanding with Arianespace under which the European space consortium would scout for small satellites in Europe to be launched by ISRO.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2009 12:31 IST

Indian Space Research Organisation has reached an understanding with Arianespace under which the European space consortium would scout for small satellites in Europe to be launched by ISRO.

ISRO is a long-time customer of the European aerospace giant, which has launched 12 Indian satellites from 1988 to 2007. Another heavy Indian satellite in the present series is expected to be launched by Arianespace, but the date has not yet been finalised, ISRO Chairman, G Madhavan Nair said.

Asked if the association with Arianespace would come to an end after the next launch, he said, "No, actually, we are trying to develop it further. They are good for heavy-lift launches. Whenever we have payloads of more than four tonnes, we may have to depend on them".

At the same time, Nair said ISRO is trying to make use of Arianespace to get launch opportunities from Europe.

"Arianspace will work like a collaborative agency with us in Europe. It is in dialogue with many institutions in Europe. We may get more launch opportunities through them. So, partnership with Arianespace will be strengthened", Nair told PTI.

"They are not interested in small satellites so they will deflect it to us", he added.

In addition, Nair said ISRO expects more launch opportunities from the US and Europe following the recent technology safeguards agreement (TSA) with America.