ISRO has earned Rs. 610 crore from its space body launches in 2016-2017, bringing it to a total of Rs. 1,157 crores from foreign launches in the last four years.
Antrix, the commercial wing of ISRO, had launched 29 nano satellites from 14 countries in June, creating history for itself. The space agency has launched 130 satellites in the first half on 2017 and all the satellites of the foreign countries have been small in size.
The Chairman of ISRO, AS Kiran Kumar, is sure that the organization will be able to provide Antrix with two launch vehicles in the next few years. Currently, ISRO only sells the space available after launching India’s satellites.
Cartosat-2’s launch along with several foreign nano satellites have earned ISRO Rs. 45 crores. Foreign satellites belonged to USA, Lithuania, Austria, Chile, Belgium, France, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia and the UK.
Antrix Chairman and MD, S Rakesh, said,
The revenue we earn through foreign satellite launches is only 10% to 20% on an average. About 80% of our revenue comes from other services, with transponder leasing and satellite communication business contributing the highest. A small percentage of revenue also comes from ground station services abroad.
Between 1990 and 2014, ISRO launched 14 foreign satellites and earned Rs. 484 crore. In 2015, Antrix earned Rs. 230 crore from its commercial launches. The US has now become a big customer for Antrix with its first commercial launch in 2015. There is a trade embargo which prohibits American commercial satellites to get launched from India rockets. Despite this, US has emerged as the largest customer for Antrix .