Wednesday, March 02, 2005

ISRO's biggest overseas deal

We dont know where its going, or or what its going to cost, but Antrix has been making news saying that ISRO is finally going to have a purely commercial deal to put a satellite into orbit for a foreign customer.

Well, what we do know is that it is an Italian 350 kg satellite called Agile, to be launched sometime "early next year", and that "they are paying in full". So unlike the previous occasions when tiny foreign satellites would ride with a local main payload, this time the main payload is a customer country's.

Since it is the PSLV in question, it is most likely not going to be the geosynchronous orbit (though there has been talk of readying the PSLV for that too). But the clincher seems the weight - commercial communications satellite rarely weigh less than at least 3 times that, as it is uneconomical otherwise. So it is most likely some sort of remote sensing satellite, which will be launched in either the Low Earth, Polar or Sun Synchronous orbit.