Cabinet approves six satellite launch vehicle flights

July 17th, 2008 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The Indian cabinet Thursday approved the launch of six geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) flights at an estimated cost of Rs.12.80 billion, with a foreign exchange component of Rs.2.72 billion. “With this, end-to-end capability to launch communication satellites will be available during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12),” Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The six flights will be undertaken during 2010-12, he added.

The GSLV, after successfully completing two demonstration flights, attained operational status during 2004. During its first operational flight, GSLV-F01 successfully launched the 1,950 kg EDUSAT satellite into geo-synchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

More recently, during September 2007, GSLV- F04 flight successfully carried a 2,130 kg INSAT-4CR communication satellite.

The GSLV, in its operational series has so far completed three flights, of which two have been successful. The GSLV is now poised to launch a series of 2,200-2,400 kg class communication satellites during the Eleventh Plan period and beyond.

The next mission aims at the launch of GSLV-D3 during early 2008, which will be the maiden flight of the GSLV with an indigenous cryogenic upper stage (CUS) and will carry the GSAT-4 satellite into GTO.

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