Space cooperation between Russia and India has come a long way since it began in 1975, when a Soviet space rocket launched India’s first satellite, Aryabhatta, and in 1984 the first Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma flew into space aboard the Soyuz. Russian Academy of Cosmonautics Academician Alexander Zheleznyakov believes that by 2015 India may enter the carrier rocket market.
Satellite services provider Aniara SpaceCom LLC of Mr Raghu Das said it has contracted with Russian/German satellite builder Dauria Aerospace to launch two all-electric Ku-band telecommunications satellites together on an Indian Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle, or GSLV, rocket in late 2017. The contract, valued at $210 million is based on a direct loan from Russia’s export-credit agency, the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (ExIAR), following what Aniara said are bandwidth-lease contracts from Indian and Southeast Asian customers.
Aniara & Dauria have a long-term cooperation under which Dauria is developing the ATOM small GEO satellite platform. Aniara is purchasing its first two small Ku-band satellites from Dauria and Aniara will globally market small ATOM based GEO satellites to customers.
Das informed that by September 2015 the companies would complete the technical feasibility study on new ATOM small GEO satellite platform, and will execute the Expression Of Interest documentation with two different anchor customers for long-term capacity lease on NexStar-1 and 2 and will execute agreement to procure 10 ATOM based satellite for global markets.
This article appeared in the January 2015 issue of India Strategic, the authoritative journal on defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, aerospace and nuclear energy. It can be accessed in its entirety through Dow Jones Factiva, NewspaperDirect and Magzter.
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