India is planning to launch an average of 10 satellites per year to meet the demand for various space applications, an Indian news agency said citing a top space official.
The current ambitions of the 47-year-old national space program could vastly expand India's international profile in space and catapult it into a space race with Russia, the United States and China.
"We are planning to launch 10 satellites per year, beginning fiscal year 2010-11 [starts April 1]," the IANS agency quoted Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan as saying.
"We have a series of satellites and launch vehicles at various stages of preparation," the scientist said.
For the past four decades, India has launched more than 50 satellites for various scientific and technological applications such as mobile communications, meteorological observations and disaster warning.
However, last year the ISRO could launch only three satellites - Oceansat-2, Risat-2 and Anusat - out of the planned five.
This year, the Indian space agency initially plans to launch the 2.2-tonne GSAT-4 onboard domestically-developed GSLV-D3 (geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle) in mid-April.
"Early in May, we plan to launch the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C15) to carry Cartosat-2B, an Algerian satellite, and two micro satellites -- Youthsat from Canada and Studsat built by college students from Karnataka," K. Radhakrishnan said.
ISRO is also working on launching Earth remote-sensing satellites Resourcesat-2, Risat-1 and Mega-Tropiques and three communications satellites later this year.
"In fiscal 2011-12 we plan to launch about 10 satellites, including Saral, Insat-3D, GSAT-9, GSAT-12, GSAT-10P, IRNSS 1& 2 (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System), Astrosat and Aditya-1," the official said.
NEW DELHI, March 31 (RIA Novosti)