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ISRO plans to launch orbiting astronomical observatory

Chairman G Madhavan Nair has said the organisation will launch “an orbiting astronomical observatory” and a specialised satellite for climate studies.

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KOCHI: Besides the mission to the moon, “Chandrayan 1”, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch “an orbiting astronomical observatory” and a specialised satellite for climate studies, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said on Sunday.

In his acceptance speech on being conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the Cochin University of Science and Technology here, Dr Nair said all these missions would help to promote basic scientific research in the country.

Stating that basic scientific research was the key for achieving self-reliance, the ISRO chief said the organisation was setting up specialised facilities and programmes to this end. Among the forthcoming projects of the space research organisation were the moon mission, scheduled for 2007-08, ‘Astrosat’, an orbiting astronomical observatory, and ‘Mega Tropiques’, a satellite for climate studies.

Stating that ISRO had derived strength from industries and educational institutions, Dr Nair said that he looked forward to building a strong partnership between the academia and ISRO towards providing scientific and technology solutions to the country’s developmental problems.

ISRO goes commercial

ISRO is planning to enter into launch vehicle business and aiming a 10 per cent market share over the next five years.

According to ISRO chairman, G Madhavan Nair, a European satellite would be carried on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) this year.

ISRO has already announced the country's first fully commercial satellite launch in May that will carry an Italian satellite Agile on top of PSLV C-3.

The launch vehicle technology market is valued at US $2billion globally.

ISRO plans to become self-sufficient in this sector after the scheduled launch of its GSLV Mk III in 2008, which is capable of carrying heavier satellites up to four tonnes.

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