India exploring commercial satellite launches

April 16th, 2008 - 11:44 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of ISRO

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) India is exploring commercial opportunities by providing facility of satellite launch to other countries at viable rates, the Lok Sabha was informed Wednesday. “Our space programme’s commercial wing Antrix is looking at opportunities to launch satellites for other countries. India is one of the foremost countries in space technology,” said Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office.

Chavan clarified that the government’s domain was only to launch satellites and there was no risk to national security due to the programme. He also informed the house that India had already helped Israel and Italy in launching satellites.

About Chandrayan-I, the ambitious mission to the moon, Chavan said: “It is a scientific mission to study the landscape of the moon. We are excited about it.”

He expressed confidence in meeting the deadline set for this year.

India had sent Indian Air Force officer Rakesh Sharma into space in 1984 with help from erstwhile Soviet Union.

Chavan said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been provided enough funds to run the space program.

However, on the question of manned mission to moon, he said “no final decision” has been taken yet.

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