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Insat 3C launch may be delayed

Our Bureau

BANGALORE, July 25

THE recent freak launch by Arianespace may push back the launch of India's forthcoming telecom satellite Insat 3C.

The European launch major has informed ISRO that it will know its readiness to launch 3C only by August 1, the ISRO Chairman, Dr K. Kasturirangan, said on Tuesday.

ISRO has contracted Arianespace for the launch scheduled around mid-September. Arianespace is the world's leading launch services provider with over 50 per cent market share.

A few days ago, Ariane 5 rocket put two foreign satellites in far lower orbits than planned. A fact finding committee is going into the causes.

Meanwhile, ISRO will be conducting four major missions in the next term, according to the ISRO Scientific Secretary, Mr K.R. Sridhara Murthy. These are the first Technology Experiment Satellite (TES-1), tentatively scheduled for September 30 from Srihari kota launch centre; a unique Metsat (meteorology satellite) using the GSLV in the geostationary position; remote sensing satellites IRS P4 and P5 on ISRO's workhorse rocket PSLV, besides Insats 3C and A which are in an advanced stage.

The second launch pad at the Sriharikota launch centre will be ready by 2002 end, Dr Kasturirangan added.

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