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Boeing plans alliance with ISRO in communication satellites area

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BANGALORE (PTI): Boeing has evinced interest in collaborating with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the area of communication satellites, and the two entities are exploring joint opportunities, a senior ISRO official said.

But the future possible cooperation with Boeing is unlikely in the field of joint-building of communication satellites as the Indian Space agency already has a tie-up in this segment with EADS Astrium, Managing Director of Antrix Corporation, ISRO’s commercial arm, K R Sridhara Murthi indicated.

"They (Boeing) said they are interested in having collaboration with us in the field of communication satellites. But we (ISRO) already have an alliance with Europeans (EADS Astrium)," he said.

"May be some new areas of business we (ISRO and Boeing) have to explore. We need to do a lot of homework before we could arrive at collaborative level. Still, it's very preliminary type of exchange," Murthi told PTI.

ISRO, meanwhile, is expanding its alliance with Astrium, with which it has an agreement to jointly offer communication satellites with a launch mass of two tons to three tons for the international market.

"We are trying to cooperate in other areas (in addition to communication satellites) such as earth observations. So, we have built along with them (Astrium) some multi-sensor ground systems for the USA and we are also trying to cooperate in other areas and explore what other type of cooperation we can do in the field of earth observations," he said.

Antrix, which markets ISRO-developed space products and services, currently has an order pipeline of Rs 3,000 crore (all types of business put together).

The company expects to close the current fiscal (2009-10) with a revenue of Rs 1,000 crore, more or less the same as the previous fiscal, reflecting a market environment impacted by the global slowdown.

Murthi said ISRO would launch the first Algerian remote sensing satellite, built by Astrium, on board India's PSLV as a co-passenger with Cartosat-2B on May 5. This satellite weighs around 150 kg.

ISRO already has some business relationship with Algeria, which is receiving data from Indian satellites through the station built by the former.

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