The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has, since 1975, launched a total of 129 satellites of Indian origin and 342 foreign satellites of 36 countries, of which 39 satellites are commercial satellites and rest nano satellites, the Parliament was informed on Thursday.
"India has a total of 53 operational satellites in space providing various identified services to the nation. Total 21 of these are communication satellites, eight are navigation satellites, 21 are Earth observation satellites and three are science satellites," Union Minister of State for Space, Dr Jitendra Singh told the Rajya Sabha in written replies to two different questions.
From 2016-2017 to 2021-2022, a total of 285 customer satellites from 29 foreign countries were successfully launched on-board PSLV on a commercial basis. The number of foreign satellites launched year-wise are 122 in 2016-2017, 57 in 2017-2018, 32 in 2018 -2019, 50 in 2019-2020, and 23 in 2020-2021, he said.
The satellite enabled data and services are being used for the benefit of various sectors of the country. These include television broadcasting, Direct-to-Home, ATM, mobile communication, tele-education, tele-medicine and advisories on weather, pest infestation, agro-meteorology, and potential fishing zones.
Satellite data is also used for crop production estimation, crop intensification, and agricultural drought assessment, wasteland inventory, identifying ground water prospect zones, inland aquaculture suitability and disaster risk reduction, he said.
The ISRO has plans to launch more satellites to further enhance operational applications and cater to the needs of emerging applications and user requirements in the country, the Minister added. Many of the applications have been effectively adopted by stakeholder departments for operational use.
A few of such applications include: potential fishing zone forecast and ocean state forecast by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, crop acreage and production forecasting and national agricultural drought assessment and monitoring system by the Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), biennial forest cover assessment by the Forest Survey of India under the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, irrigation infrastructure assessment by the Central Water Commission under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, weather forecasting by the India Meteorological Department under the Ministry of Earth Science, ground water prospect and suitable recharge locations' mapping for the Ministry of Jal Shakti, and integrated watershed management programme and MGNREGS by the Ministry of Rural Development.
The Minister also informed that the number of spacecrafts launched by space centres in the country from 2016-2017 to 2021-2022 till date, year-wise are: 2016-2017 (135), 2017- 2018 (67), 2018-2019 (40), 2019-2020 (56), 2020-2021 (30) and 2021-2022 (till date) 1. Of these, the spacecraft launched by the country for domestic use, year-wise are 13, 10, 8, 6, 7 and 1, respectively.
The country-wise breakup of number of foreign satellites launched during 2016-17 to 2021-22, the Minister said, was: Algeria (3), Australia (1), Austria (1), Belgium (3), Brazil (1), Canada (5), Chile (1), Colombia (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (3), France (2), Germany (2), Indonesia (1), Israel (2), Italy (4), Japan (2), Kazakhstan (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (7), Luxembourg (1), Malaysia (1), The Netherlands (2), Republic Of Korea (5), Slovakia (1), Spain (2), Switzerland (2), the UAE (1), the UK (6), and the US (222).