The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received a $10 million European Union contract to launch an Italian-built satellite on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) by the end of next year.

"We have signed a contract with one of the European companies for the launch. It will take place next year," says ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair. The unidentified satellite will be the first international prime payload to fly on an Indian booster. Piggyback payloads have been flown commercially for overseas clients on two previous PSLV missions.

Bangalore-based Antrix, commercial arm of the Indian space programme, has also signed an agreement with Singapore's Nanyang Technological University to launch its X-Sat Earth-observation mini-satellite as a co-passenger on a PSLV in 2005-6.



Source: Flight International