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Politic-Economic-Society-Tech

India to Use Space Technology to Boost Global Role

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said Wednesday India would exploit space technology rather than use its military might to boost its standing on the global stage.

"Successful utilization of space technology can be an instrument for enhancing our global role, not through military power but through development and economic growth," the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency quoted Vajpayee as saying.

Vajpayee was addressing a group of scientists in the Indian capital after dedicating India's third generation satellite, INSAT-3C, to the nation.

An Ariane-42l rocket placed the 2.75-ton indigenously-built satellite into orbit after takeoff from Europe's space center in Kourou, French Guyana, on January 24 this year.

In his speech, Vajpayee said India's space program had been put under the scanner many times because of "unfounded suspicions" about whether New Delhi would use foreign technology to enhance its military might.

He said the INSAT series symbolized India's spirit of self-reliance, adding that his government was conscious of the great potential in space technology for improving the quality of life of the common man.

"A developing country like ours, with the technological skills which we have acquired, cannot afford to ignore the opportunities for accelerated development which space technology provides us," AFP quoted Vajpayee as saying.

The satellite is carrying 33 transponders, one of which is dedicated to mobile communications.

The 2.5-billion-position rupee (53-million-dollar) INSAT-3C has a designed 12-year mission life and will replace aging satellites like the INSAT-2C and give a fresh impetus to India's telecommunications, broadcasting, business communication and mobile services sectors.

In February this year, India successfully carried out the "full test firing" of a domestically developed powerful cryogemic engine used in rockets to launch satellites in geostationary orbits.

The test propelled India into an elite group of five nations who have similar capabilities -- the United States, Russia, France, China and Japan.

Officials said, however, the cryogenic engine would need to be put through a few more tests before it could be declared completely ready.


sourc
e: tehrantimes.com, July 6, 2002

 


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