The world is attracted by India’s satellite launch prowess
Over the past few years, India’s space programme has come of age. After launching 28 foreign satellites during the three-year period—January 2013 to December 2015—for nine countries, India will launch 25 foreign satellites for seven countries using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the next fiscal. That includes 12 satellites for the United States, followed by Germany (4), Algeria and Canada (3 each), Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan (one each). The launch of the 28 satellites earned Antrix euro 80.6 million.
Apart from the global programme, India is also completing a satellite network for its own location positioning system by launching a cluster of seven satellites. Six of these Indian Regional Navigation Satelitte System (IRNSS) satellites have already been launched and are designed to provide location accuracy better than 10 metres. Under an agreement with Vietnam, India will also set up a satellite tracking and imaging centre in southern Vietnam that will provide access to pictures from Indian satellites that cover the region. The Ho Chi Minh city station will support the existing ground stations in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Brunei, Biak (Indonesia) and Mauritius that track satellites in the initial stage of flight. But, the Vietnam facility could irritate China which has border disputes with both countries.