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Space sector boost

New Delhi, March 12: In the face of international pressure exerted to retard the pace of the country’s space programme a decade ago, India has now successfully mastered the technology to develop cryogenic engines for satellite launching purposes, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee told the Lok Sabha today.

Intervening during question hour, the Prime Minister said the government had backed scientists to develop cryogenic capability when a decade ago “we had encountered difficulties in getting cryogenic engines”, notwithstanding Russia’s offer to help the country in this regard. “We are now successful,” he announced.

Vajpayee intervened when minister of state for space Satyabrata Mukherjee was replying to a query on the status of India’s cooperation with other countries. The minister said Thailand has approached India for help in the space sector. The Antrix Corporation, the commercial wing of the Indian Space Research Organisation, has given proposals to Thailand on design, development and launch of its remote-sensing satellite.

Isro has already launched two satellites from Germany, one from Belgium and another from South Korea on a commercial basis. Singapore has now approached India for launching one of its remote sensing satellites, the minister said. India also has an ongoing collaboration with 22 countries in the space technology sector, he added.

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