Carla Bruni, Spouse Visit Bangalore; Agreements Announced With EADS Astrium, Arianespace

Some news on Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to India, which included a stop at ISRO and the announcement a pair of commercial agreements:

Much like British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy chose to start his visit to India from Bangalore.

After landing at the HAL Airport, Sarkozy along with his wife Carla Bruni, ministers and business delegates, headed to the ISRO Satellite Centre where he was briefed on the Megha- Tropiques satellite, which is being co-developed by India and France.

Praising Bangalore and terming it as a world-class city, Sarkozy said he had wanted to start his visit to the country from Bangalore.

“I wanted to start this second visit to India here in Bangalore, from the headquarters of the Indian space agency, since the ties that France and India are building in this field serve to further the ideals that form the basis of our friendship,” he said.

The nations also announced a couple of deals on satellites and launches:

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has renewed a five-year contract with EADS Astrium, Europe’s leading satellite system specialist, for joint marketing of satellites.

Under this, ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, and EADS Astrium, the wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, will jointly address the commercial market for communications satellites with payload power below 4 Kw and a launch mass in the range of two to three tonnes. Satellites in this segment are a sizeable and stable part of the market.

[Isro Chairman K.] Radhakrishnan said ISRO had signed an agreement with Arianespace for two more satellite launches. “We have signed commercial agreements with Arianespace for two more launches:  GSAT-8 in 2011 and GSAT-10 in 2012,” he said. “The launch cost of these two satellites is estimated about Rs 500 crore.”