India's cabinet has approved a contract worth up to $67.5 million with Arianespace for launching satellites, according to published reports out of New Delhi.
In June, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed an agreement with the European launch provider to orbit the Insat-4G communications satellite for providing navigation, telecom, TV broadcasting and broadband services.
The launch is slated for the end of 2008 aboard an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Earlier this year, Arianespace orbited the Insat-4B satellite. Insat-4G will mark the 14th ISRO satellite to use the European launch provider.
In another development, ISRO officials reportedly are planning a launch by early September of an Insat-4CR from ISRO's spaceport inSriharikota, India. The communications satellite is similar to Insat-4C, which was lost during the unsuccessful July 2006 launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F02) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
Like its predecessor, Insat-4CR will carry 12 Ku-band transponders to provide TV broadcasting services in Southeast Asia, including DTH television services plus VSAT applications, video picture transmission and digital satellite newsgathering. Insat-4CR has a designed mission life of 10 years.
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