Friday, May 24, 2024

ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 Caps Landmark Year; Private Startups, Global Collaborations Herald Emerging Space Sector

By Staff Correspondent

India’s space ambitions are achieving significant milestones, marked by the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) recent success with the ongoing Chandrayaan-3 mission. This triumph accentuates India’s multi-decade journey in the space sector since the inception of its space programme in 1962.

Historical Feats & the Road Ahead

ISRO has been the cornerstone of India’s space programme since 1969, propelling the country’s launch of various satellites, Moon missions, and Mars explorations. Significant achievements include the Rohini, Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) and Geosynchronous Satellite (GSAT) series, Cartosat, Oceansat, and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

The year 2023 has proved pivotal for ISRO with the successful launch of Chandrayaan-3. The space agency continues to make strides in satellite launch services, notably with London-based OneWeb in collaboration with New Space India Limited (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm.

The Commercial Space: Emergence Of Startups & Reforms

In recent years, reforms in India’s commercial space sector have given rise to promising space-tech startups. Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace’s launch of India’s first privately developed launch vehicle, Prarambh, symbolises the innovation in the private sector, supported by ISRO and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (INSPACe).

International Collaborations: A New Frontier

India’s collaboration with international firms for satellite launch services has further elevated its position in the global space industry. With the aim to secure 9% of the global space market by 2030, India’s strategic alignment with global trends, including the low-Earth orbit (LEO) segment, is unlocking myriad opportunities.

The Experts’ Perspective: Opportunities For Growth

Former ISRO scientists and space-tech entrepreneurs shed light on the potential sectors that could transform India’s space landscape. According to experts, space-based internet, satellite data-based monitoring, space education and research, and international collaborations represent different avenues for growth.

A joint report by Ernst & Young (EY) and the Indian Space Association (ISpA) predicts that the Indian space economy is poised to grow to $12.8466 billion by 2025.

The Promise Of Private Space Industry

India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and new space manufacturing and production supply chain entrants signify a promising future. The demand for market-ready satellites, sub-systems, and space hardware, along with the increase in private satellite launches, has paved the way for indigenous development of low-cost technology and infrastructure.

Space Parks: Incubating Future Innovations

The proposal for space parks to serve as space-related technology manufacturing hubs is expected to further boost the sector. These parks could incubate space-tech companies, providing a nurturing environment for small to medium-sized businesses and startups focused on satellite manufacturing.

A Bold New Era

India’s progressive strides in space technology reflect its legacy of achievements and its readiness to embrace the future. ISRO’s consistent successes, the rise of private space-tech startups, and international collaborations symbolise a new era for India in space. The alignment with global space economy trends, combined with innovative domestic policies, holds the potential to revolutionise India’s space capabilities, positioning it as a significant player in the international arena.

The investments, collaborations, and innovations herald a space fervour that resonates with 21st-century trends, ensuring India’s pivotal role in the evolving global space industry. The nation’s space vision, both in the public and private sectors, is geared towards leveraging new avenues, aiming high, and unlocking the vast potential of space for societal benefit.

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