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ISRO working on satellite for SAARC countries: Chairman

SRIHARIKOTA (PTI): Indian space agency ISRO is working with SAARC countries for setting up a dedicated satellite for them as mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"That process is on. We are also having discussions with SAARC countries on how exactly they will use. Very soon, the whole configuration and system will be decided", ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar told reporters Saturday.

Speaking after the successful launch of navigational satellite IRNSS-1D from Sriharikota, he expressed confidence that once the project gets approved, significant development would take place in the next 18 months.

Aiming to play a key role in the development of South Asia, Modi has asked ISRO to develop a SAARC satellite which can be dedicated as a "gift" to the neighbours.

Modi had made the suggestion during his visit to Sriharikota last year to witness the launch of PSLV-C23.

On IRNSS-1D launch, the ISRO chief said "today we have been able to put fourth navigation satellite which would give us an independent technology to locate the ground receivers...

We will be able to make use of receivers to locate ourselves".

"It is 28th successful launch and a great credit for the team. But when we start getting numbers like 28,29,30, we have to be more careful because we have the responsibility," he said.

Asked whether the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) would be different from the Global Positioning Satellite system of US, he said "location of GPS satellites are over the orbit from the Geosynchronous orbit. GPS is global system. But our system is mainly meant for regional coverage."

To a query when the remaining three navigation satellites IRNSS-1E, 1F and 1G would be launched, he said the space agency was expected to complete the missions before the next financial year.

"We are planning to complete the remaining before March 2016," he said.

On why the Indian space agency was not planning to launch GPS satellites, he said "the main objective of ISRO is to address our country's issues. Global plans later."

On future launches to be taken up by ISRO, he said "immediately following this launch (today's launch), we have another PSLV which is getting ready. It is a commercial launch.

"Then we have the GSLV-Mark II, the Astrosat and later we will have the GSAT-15 (from French Guyana) which is going to enhance our communication transponders capacity. Then we will have the 1E, 1F and 1G of IRNSS", he said.

Responding to a query about funds allocated to ISRO, he said the budget allocation for the next fiscal stood at Rs 6,000 crore while non-plan expenditure was at Rs 1,700 crore.

On plans for setting up third launch pad here, ISRO Director M Y S Prasad said "the study has been completed and a report was submitted to the ISRO Chairman. The objective of the third launch pad is to increase the launch frequency. It will come up in Satish Dhawan Space Centre itself".

Talking about commercial advantages of PSLV, he said "for navigation or communication satellite, it will draw an income of Rs 1,000 crore. They come with a mission life of about 10-15 years. We are getting good benefit out of PSLV."

On the proposed launch of GSLV-Mark III, Kumar said "we are planning to launch it towards the end of next year".


ISRO  Satellite  SAARC  India  IRNSS  

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