The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday successfully made the first commercial launch of a foreign satellite through the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C8). Italian satellite, Agile, weighing 352 kg, was placed in a precise orbit about 550 km above the earth.
The PSLV also carried an ISRO payload, Advanced Avionics Module (AAM), to establish the next generation computers, navigation, guidance, control and telemetry systems that will be used in future launch vehicles. It weighed 185 kg.
ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair called the mission “a 100 per cent success” and “a remarkable achievement.”
He said: “We have made a good entry into the launch business. I hope we will get more and more business opportunities in future. The contract [to launch the Italian satellite] came at a time when there was a complex, competitive environment.”
Indian space research has always been way ahead of just about any other field, a good indication of the research priorities set in the 1970s. The take home message is that if India throws money and attention at a problem, it does seem to have some success. Now if they can only fix this…