By: Johnson Abraham
India’s space programme must be made available to developing nations and the SAARC countries in particular Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Monday after witnessing the successful launch of five foreign satellites on board the Indian Space Research organization’s workhorse PSLV rocket.
ISRO’s first commercial satellite launch in over a year was used by Prime Minister Modi to spell out his vision for the Indian space
sector. He asked ISRO to develop a satellite dedicated to the SAARC region to help alleviate poverty in the region. “The philosophy of a global family is a part of our age-old ethics. India’s rise in the space sector has been driven by a desire for service and not by the desire for power. We must share our technology with others in the developing world and our neighbours in particular,” Modi said.
While India has been using space technology to assist neighbouring countries in disaster management, more needs to be done, Modi said. “Yeh dil maange more. We need to build a SAARC satellite dedicated to the neighbourhood with a full range of applications that are available to all our neighbours. There is a great deal of poverty in the region,” Prime Minister Modi said.
“Technology is central to development. It is an important instrument of national program,” he said. Prime Minister Modi also asked space scientists to extend space technologies to map land records in the country on a regular basis to bring about greater accuracy, which are often riddled with problems affecting the poor. “It is a mistake for people to think that space science is only for the elite. Space science is an integral part of daily life,” Modi said in a speech that was longer than the 20 minutes.
The PSLV-C23 carried a 714 kg French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7 as its main payload, while a 14 kg satellite called AISAT of
Germany, two 15 kg satellites from Canada CAN-X4 and CAN-X5 and seven kg Singapore satellite called VELOX-1 as piggy back payload on the flight.
The five satellites were launched under commercial arrangements that ANTRIX (ISRO’s commercial arm) entered with foreign agencies.
The commercial launch comes nearly 16 months after ISRO launched six small foreign satellites on board the PSLV C-20 in February 2013. ISRO has so far put 35 foreign satellites in space on the PSLV on the basis of commercial agreements with other countries.
The space agency is banking on the realisation of its GSLV heavy lift rocket program over the next couple of years to get into the big
league of launching heavy communication satellites weighing more than 2000 kg. On his visit to SHAR space center at Sriharikota, Prime Minister Modi was briefed about the GSLV program and was taken on a visit to a GSLV Mk III vehicle assembly building.
Prime Minister continued…
"Dil maange more" satellites, says PM Modi at PSLV-C23 launch; asks ISRO to ...