The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed a deal with Antrix Corporation Limited which is believed to be valued at around Rs 100 crore, to launch an 800 kg satellite of ASTRIUM SAS, a Company under EADS,France.
A commercial launch services agreement between Antrix Corporation Limited (ANTRIX) and ASTRIUM SAS, has been signed but no financial details of the deal were available. But sources in the Bangalore at the ISRO head quarter space agency told that the contract was worth around Rs 100 crore.
Under the agreement between ISRO and ANTRIX, an advanced Remote Sensing satellite ‘SPOT-6’ weighing nearly 800 kg, built by ASTRIUM SAS, will be launched on-board ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, during the second half of 2012.
SPOT-6 and SPOT-7 launches are scheduled for 2012 and 2013, respectively. They form a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites designed to provide continuity of high-resolution, wide-swath data up to 2023.
This is a major achievement by ISRO where it is not only competing but giving a run for their money to other space agencies of the western world.
Along with ‘SPOT-6’ satellite, the PSLV, in it’s ‘core alone’ configuration, will also carry other co-passenger payloads. This launch services deal signed between ISRO and two French companies ANTRIX and ASTRIUM is a part of the long-term agreement signed between the two agencies in September 2008.
The relationship between ISRO and ASTRIUM goes way back till 2010 where ISRO had built an advanced communication satellite ‘HYLAS’ together with ASTRIUM for a European customer. In the coming years, further collaboration possibilities between ANTRIX/ISRO and ASTRIUM would be explored.
India and France are fast moving towards trading hi-tech services with each other worth millions of dollars which is proving to be a win-win situation for both the countries.