Amidst a US court asking the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to pay a compensation of Rs 1.2 billion to Devas Multimedia, the space agency will be launching four American satellites in the coming week.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) along with India’s earth observation satellite EOS-01 will launch nine international customer satellites, of which four are American satellites on November 8 subject to weather conditions.
According to the space agency, the foreign satellites are four Lemur (Lemur-1/2/3/4) multi-mission remote sensing satellites and four Kleos (KSM-1A/1B/1C/1D) maritime application satellite from Luxembourg and one R2 technology demonstrator satellite from Lithuania.
The Lemur satellites have been developed by San Francisco based Spire Global and the foreign satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), Department of Space.
Last week, the US District Judge Thomas S Zilly, Western District of Washington, Seattle ruled that Antrix should pay a compensation of $562.5 million to Bengaluru-based startup Devas and the related interest rate amounting to a total of $1.2 billion.
All about the deal
Antrix Corporation had signed a controversial deal with Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd to lease space segment capacity in the SBand spectrum. The controversial deal signed in 2005 involved allocation of 70 MHz of the S-Band wavelength to Devas for its digital multimedia services.
Besides, it also allowed leasing of 90 per cent of the transponders on GSAT-6 and GSAT-6A satellites that were proposed to be launched by ISRO. The controversial deal was annulled in February 2011 following media reports that Devas was allotted the scarce S-band spectrum by ISRO by violating rules.
Subsequently, the government had formed committees to review the technical, commercial, procedural and financial aspects of the agreement between Antrix and Devas Multimedia Pvt. Ltd which concluded that there were several lapses of judgement on the part of several senior ISRO scientists.