The ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has inked arrangements with four countries to deploy foreign satellites between 2022 and 2023. The agreements were signed by the company’s commercial arm by the name New Space India Ltd, for the satellites to be launched by India’s flagship rocket, PSLV, according to Jitendra Singh, the Union space minister. Responding to a query in a written response by Rajya Sabha, Singh also stated that the commercial launch of these foreign satellites will earn roughly €132 million.

In a separate written response, the minister stated that 342 foreign satellites from 34 nations have been successfully deployed onboard PSLV on the commercial basis since 1999. According to him, India has earned approximately $35 million in foreign exchange revenue as well as €10 million in the last three years as a result of the deployments of these foreign spacecrafts (2019 to 2021). Satellites mainly for earth observation, scientific research, and technology demonstration were among the foreign satellites launched.

A total of 124 indigenous spacecraft, comprising 12 student satellites, have been launched into orbit around the Earth. Singh added in another written response to the Upper House that the SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) is nearing completion and that the maiden developmental flight of the SSLV is planned for the very first quarter of 2022. The SSLV will have a payload capacity of 500kg and will be capable of launching satellites up to 500 kilometers in height. According to him, the government has approved a total budget of Rs 169 crore for this project, which includes the production and qualification of the vehicle systems as well as 3 development flights (SSLV-D2, SSLV-D1, and SSLV-D3).

He had told the Lok Sabha the day before that 27 satellite flights and 25 launch vehicle flights had been successfully completed in the previous five years.

Some of the major missions, according to Singh, include the very first operational flight of India’s heavy-lift launch vehicle GSLV MK-III, that placed India’s second lunar flight Chandrayaan-2 lunar inquiry into orbit; a sophisticated cartography satellite, Cartosat-3; the completion of the NavIC constellation (with the release of a navigation satellite); and the deployment of the South Asia Satellite (that provides broadcasting and weather forecasting among other solutions to SAARC).

Aside from these launches, the minister stated that three technological demonstrators, including the Scramjet engine, a reusable launch vehicle, as well as an evaluation for the crew escape mechanism, were successfully demonstrated during this time.