By Praveen Bose
The 100th mission proved to be a commercial success, , though it did not have an Indian payload. Isro is said to have earned over Rs 100 crore from the mission, though it refused to confirm the number.
It only said the cost of the launch was about Rs 90 crore. France's five earlier SPOT satellites were launched by the European Ariane rocket. "As Ariane is for launching heavier payloads, it made sense for the European agency, Astrium, to use ISRO's PSLV. It could prove to be a money spinner for Isro in launching small and micro satellites," said the Isro spokesman. The financial difficulties faced by the European countries is also said to have favoured Isro.
The success of the launch will further strengthen India’s capabilities in the commercial launch vehicle market, said an analyst. The attraction of Isro is the lower cost of launch per kg. The cost of launch per kg varies from $20,000 to $35,000. In case of Isro, it's said to be about $20,000 and that is the attraction for those wanting to launch small satellites.