NewSpace India, which gained momentum after Antrix Corp lost its arbitration case overseas and faced huge payout as damages to Devas Multimedia, has now bagged the contract for the launch of 13 nanosatellites from the US.
On Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced the launch of cartography satellite Cartosat-3 on November 25 morning and said that the Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle - XL variant (PSLV-XL) would also put into orbit 13 commercial nanosatellites from the US.
According to ISRO, the launch of the US satellites is part of the commercial arrangement with NewSpace India. Industry sources told IANS that NewSpace India is a replica of the Antrix Corporation and, thus, it is easy to infer about the latter's future. However, the ISRO and the Department of Space are silent on the need for a second company with almost identical business plans.
What went wrong with Antrix Corporation?
Since its incorporation in 1992, Antrix Corporation -the first commercial arm of ISRO - has handled such third party satellite launch contracts, leasing of communication satellite transponders, marketing of data from remote sensing satellites, building and marketing of satellites as well as satellite mission support services, and establishing ground infrastructure for space applications.
For the year ended 2017-18, Antrix Corporation logged a turnover of Rs 2,039.33 crore and a net profit of Rs 211.52 crore.
NewSpace India was incorporated in 2019, and its areas of business are almost identical with that of Antrix Corporation.
In addition, NewSpace India will also be the nodal agency for the production of PSLV and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV) through industry consortiums and partners.
(With agency inputs.)