India successfully launched its indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) last month, carrying five satellites. The satellites on board the vehicle were a a 714 kg French Earth Observation Satellite SPOT-7 as its main payload, a 14 kg satellite called AISAT of Germany, two 15 kg satellites from Canada CAN-X4 and CAN-X5 and a seven kg Singapore satellite called VELOX-1.
The launch was the 27th PSLV flight since 1993 and the workhorse launcher’s 23rd successful mission in a row. Incredibly, the rocket that launched the satellites into orbit costs less than the Hollywood blockbuster film, ‘Gravity’, which had a movie budget close to $100 million.
The film produced space and zero gravity visual effects that never seen before on the big screen.
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission’s $72 million cost is also less than a sixth of the $455 million earmarked for NASA’s Mars probe.
Last year, India launched a bid to become the first Asian nation to reach Mars with its ‘Mars Orbiter Mission’ whose price tag was envied by space programs world-wide.
The satellite launch industry revenues totaled around $2.2 billion in 2012.
India wants to expand its share in this market as a low cost provider moving forward.