US may outsource lightweight satellite launches to India
Lockheed Martin, the biggest US defence, aerospace and military technology corporation, broached the subject recently with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its export arm, Antrix.
Lockheed Martinâ€™s India Chief Executive Roger Rose told India Strategic that as the US was moving towards longer distance and more sophisticated probes, it made commercial sense to outsource launching of some satellites. There was a dearth of low-cost launching facilities in the world but ISRO and Antrix had a commendable track record in this regard.
Lockheed Martin was also interested in cooperating with ISRO on Indiaâ€™s manned space flights. The corporation had substantial technological inputs on many or most of the US space missions, and some of these could be shared with India.
He said that senior executives from Lockheed Martin had visited Bangalore in August and held discussions with ISRO and Antrix. Some of the US satellites assigned to Lockheed Martin could be outsourced to India and they could â€œride piggyback on Indian rockets.â€
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