India could gain commercial satellite launcher business for its planned Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) as a result of the decision to equip its booster with an Ariane-compatible satellite adapter.

Under an agreement between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Arianespace last year, the GSLV could launch subcontracted Arianespace payloads.

India's Insat 3 communications satellite series will also be compatible with the GSLV and Ariane, so that Arianespace will be able to launch one or more of these satellites if necessary.

The ISRO-Arianespace agreement originally covered cooperative launches of low-earth orbit satellites on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The organisations are to market jointly PSLV and Ariane 5 launches for auxiliary "piggyback" payloads and have established a common users' manual compatible with both boosters.

Source: Flight International