India has earned about USD 100 million launching 45 foreign satellites till date and revenue from its commercial space missions is poised to grow with another 28 foreign satellites planned to be put into orbit between 2015 and 2017.
This information was given by Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday while providing details of revenue earned by Antrix — the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) — from launch of foreign satellites.
Mr. Singh said Antrix has signed agreements for launching 28 satellites of six countries — Algeria, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore and the US during 2015-17.
Until now, 45 satellites from 19 countries have been launched by the ISRO and the income generated through this amounts to around 17 million USD and 78.5 million Euros(85 million USD), he said.
Singh also informed that the government has sanctioned 15 smaller PSLV launchers worth Rs 3,090 crore which would be built during 2017-2020.
In a response to another question, Singh elaborated on the initiation of chalking out a roadmap for the country’s space programmes in addressing short-term and long-term areas.
On other issues, Singh said the expenditure on the ground system of the proposed SAARC satellite project will be borne by the regional bloc countries while India will bear the expenses on its building and launching.
“While the cost towards building and launching a satellite will be met by the government of India, the cost towards ground system is expected to be sourced by respective SAARC countries,” Mr. Singh said in his reply.
“The objective of this project is to develop a satellite for the SAARC region that enables a full range of services to all our neighbours in the areas of telecommunications and broadcasting applications like television, DTH, tele-education and disaster management,” he added.
Incidentally, India has maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious SAARC satellite project was a “gift” by the country to its neighbours.