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INSAT 3E will take tally to 128 transponders

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE SEPT. 22. With the launch of INSAT 3E, the Indian Space Research Organisation's communications satellite, on September 28, the country's tally of communication transponders in space will go up to 128, G. Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman ISRO, said here today.

In his maiden press meet after assuring charge, Mr. Nair said that "as of today'' the launch of INSAT 3E is on September 28. He was speaking after releasing a book, Fundamentals of Remote Sensing, by George Joseph, a cosmic ray scientist and former director of ISRO's Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad.

INSAT 3E, the penultimate spacecraft in the INSAT 3 series, will be launched aboard the French Ariane 5 rocket from the spaceport of Kourou, French Guyana. It carries 24 C-band transponders and 12 extended C-band transponders. The satellite, with a life of 14 years, will be launched between 4.32 a.m. and 4.51 a.m. Indian Standard Time. A successful launch of INSAT 3E — after successive delays, the last due to a component alert — is important not in the least because its transponders will take on the traffic now being handled by 23 transponders on INSAT 2DT which is nearing the end of its life. The transfer of traffic from 2DT to 3E is expected to start in the first week of December.

K.R. Sridhara Murthi, Executive Director, Antrix Corporation, ISRO's commercial wing, said revenue for the last financial year was Rs. 108 crores and the projected revenue for this year was Rs. 200 crores. The money had come from strong "servicing remote sensing data'' and from television, VSAT, and communications satellite business, Mr. Murthy said.

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