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ISRO plans 58 missions in 5 yrs

Bangalore: India`s premier space agency ISRO plans to undertake 58 satellite and launch vehicle missions in the 12th Five year period and sees larger role for industries in realising these ventures.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Radhakrishnan said India had done 10-13 missions in each of the 8th, 9th and 10th plan period, and completed 29 in the 11th five-year Plan period 2007-12.

"So, that was a quantum jump. During 2012-17, we are planning about 60 missions," Radhakrishnan, also Secretary in the Department of Space and Space Commission Chairman, told PTI here.

To be precise, ISRO proposes to undertake 33 satellites and 25 launch vehicles missions. "25 missions have been lined up in the next two years itself," the ISRO chief said.

Asked about the cost involved in these missions, he said in the 11th plan ISRO had an allocation of about Rs 20,000 crore, Plan and non-plan put together. "That (the funds required for realising the 58 missions) will get finalised through discussions in the coming months," he said.

Radhakrishnan said the role of industries in realising the missions would go up, particularly in the area of value addition, and their responsibility would be larger.

ISRO`s outsourcing of the Indian space programme currently is about 50-60 per cent – mainly in the areas of supply of components and fabrication, among others, to some 500 firms.

"Today we have Indian industries working with us but each one looks at specific elements of it (the space programme). A couple of them started next level of integration. So, what we are working with industries now is how to enhance the role of industry in realising PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) (and also in building satellites)", he said.

Radhakrishnan sees larger role for industries in space programme going forward. "Value addition (by industries in these programmes) will go up. (Their) role will go up. Responsibility will be larger".

Right now, contribution of industries is at the "first level but we are getting into larger assembly (by industries)…finally rocket and satellite. May not be 100 per cent (industries will not do all work). But closer to that. That`s what we are expecting", he said.

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