New Delhi: ISRO has earned about Rs 1,245 crore in the last five years by launching satellites of 26 countries, Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh told Parliament Thursday.
According to data provided by the minister, the total revenue earned in financial year 2018-2019 was Rs 324.19 crore — the highest in the last five years. Earnings in 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 were Rs 252.59 crore, Rs 227.45 crore, Rs 208.37 crore, and Rs 232.56 crore, respectively.
Contracts with 10 countries — USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Singapore, The Netherlands, Japan, Malaysia, Algeria and France — were signed in the last five years under commercial arrangements.
As many as 284 commercial satellites have been launched by India since 2014.
ISRO has until now launched a total of 319 commercial satellites of 33 countries — 233 of them came from the USA alone. The first commercial launches were Germany’s DLR-Tubsat and South Korea’s Kitsat-3 in 1999.
All commercial launches through PSLV
India’s space missions are among the cheapest world over, which garners international interest for its commercial launches.
So far, all of the ISRO’s commercial launches have been through the PSLV, which has gained credence as a leading provider of rideshare services for small satellites. The indigenously built rocket also holds the world record for launching the most number of satellites into space — a feat it achieved in 2017 by placing 104 satellites in orbit, of which 101 were foreign.
In its most recent launch on December 11, which put India’s spy satellite RISAT-2BR1 in space, the agency launched nine commercial satellites. Shortly before that on November 27, ISRO launched 13 nanosatellites alongside Cartosat 3, India’s most advanced Earth observation satellite.
India’s other indigenous rocket, the GSLV, which is more powerful and can carry a larger payload, is however yet to bag any commercial deals.