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India's GSLV-Mk III to bring down satellite launch cost

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BANGALORE (PTI): India plans to cut satellite launch cost by half with the heavy-lift rocket that it is developing, a senior space department official said.

The country is also aiming a two-to-three fold increase in the number of spacecraft launches from this year, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K Radhakrishnan said.

GSLV-Mk III that ISRO is developing now would bring down the satellite launch cost at least by half, at present, the launch cost is pegged at around USD 20,000 per kilogram, he said.

GSLV-Mk III, which would have the capability to launch satellites of four tonne class, nearly twice the mass that ISRO can currently carry to space, is expected to be operational in next two-three years.

Delivering the inaugural lecture of IIScAA (Indian Institute of Science Alumni Association) here on Saturday evening, he said India currently has 211 communication transponders, including 195 operational.

"We need to go up to 500 (transponders) by 2014," Radhakrishan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Space Commission Chairman, said.

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