The union cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for the constinuation of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme for 15 operational flights (PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50).
The cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave approval to the programme which will cost Rs.3,090 crore and "enable launch of satellites required for earth observation, navigation and space sciences along with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts", according to a cabinet communique.
It said that the programme will meet the demand for satellites with four to five launches per year with a greater focus on enhancing the level of participation by the Indian industry.
"All the fifteen operational flights would be completed during the period 2017-2020," the communique said.
The PSLV flights were sanctioned in 2008 and have made the country self-reliant in the launching capability of satellites for earth observation, disaster management, navigation and space sciences, it said, adding continuing the programme will sustain this capability and self-reliance in the launching of similar satellites for national requirements.
The PSLV has emerged as a versatile launch vehicle to carry out Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO), Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and low-inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions, it said.
With the recent successful launch of PSLV-C26 on October 16, 2014, PSLV has completed three developmental and 25 operational flights of which the last 27 have been successively successful.