AFTER two disappointing failures in 1987 and 1988, the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) was finally launched on May 20
from the Sriharikota range. It successfully placed the 106-kg SROSS (Stretched Rohini -Satellite Series) satellite in an orbit 450 km above the earth.
The successful launch came as a, much-needed boost for Indian space scientists after USA slapped a two-year technology embargo under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) on Russia and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in an attempt to stymie the controversial cryo-engine rocket deal. UK has also hinted that it would refuse imports to ISRO if it violated the MTCR guidelines. China, on the other hand, has said that "how to settle the matter is the business of the countries concerned".
ISRO has grown wiser after the ban. It has proposed to float a separate corporate body to handle its business dealings, which would mean that in future, instead of ISRO bearing the brunt of such a ban, its corporate entity would be affected.
Experts say the ban will delay the launch of four satellites of the INSAT-11 series and two of the IRS-I series which employ US technology. Although the ban is only for two years, analysts say that India will have to develop its own Infrastructure for future projects.
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