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Baruna asaked: Why do technologically advanced countries like the UK, France, Canada, etc., use Indian facilities to launch their satellites?

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  • Ajey Lele replies: Amongst these countries, Canada is not a space-faring nation, means a nation without having own satellite launching capability. France has developed significant amount of capabilities to launch various categories of satellites, however, their key focus is to launch heavy satellites (the French company, Arianespace, founded in 1980 as the world's first commercial launch services provider, has launched many satellites. So far they have launched 15 satellites for India. They launch satellites which are mostly in 4 to 5 ton category and they are put in geostationary orbit, i.e., at the altitude of 36,000 km above the earth's surface).

    India has developed expertise in the area of launching small and medium satellites in low/medium orbits (say up to the altitude of 1000 km weighing 1.5 ton or less). During present launch (PSLV C-20), six out of seven satellites were less than 150 kg in weight (four satellites were weighing between 14 to 3 kgs) and were put at an altitude of approximately 780 to 790 km. One satellite SERAL (409 kg) is an India-France collaborative effort. Also, normally India offers cost-effective launching facilities and, more importantly, Indian facilities are most reliable, hence the choice.