ISRO, Glavkosmos meet to discuss Russian satellite propulsion bid

Image courtesy of Glavkosmos

In late August 2017, Roscosmos’ commercial arm Glavkosmos met with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to discuss a Russian satellite propulsion system for ISRO, along with possible areas of cooperation.

Led by Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov, the Russian delegation met with Head of ISRO A. S. Kiran Kumar in Bengaluru, and also visited the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) for a meeting with ISAC Director Dr. M. Annadurai.

According to Glavkosmos, much of the discussion centred on a fully-electric propulsion system for ISRO’s geostationary communications satellites, which Russia is bidding on. During the meeting, Glavkosmos presented a bid specially drafted for ISRO for the initial bidding phase. No details were revealed except that the system will be equipped with stationary plasma thrusters, a common feature of Russian satellites first developed by the Soviet Union.

During the meeting between Lyskov and Kumar, Lyskov also introduced GK Launch Services, a new joint venture between Glavkosmos and launch services provider Kosmotras, established in April 2017. GK Launch Services, of which Glavkosmos owns 75%, will launch satellites using the Soyuz and launchers converted from unused Soviet Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).

Other topics of discussion included cooperation within the framework of current Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between Russia and India, such as an extensive MoU signed between Roscosmos and ISRO in 2015, another signed in 2016, and yet another in April 2017 specifically on navigation systems.

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