Friday, May 24, 2024

Chandrayaan-3 Success: An Embodiment Of Public-Private Space Collaboration

By Aritra Banerjee

In the wake of the euphoria surrounding Chandrayaan-3’s triumphant touchdown on the moon’s elusive south pole, it is essential to spotlight the industry bedrock that underpins this success. This mission, while navigated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), also stands as a testimony to a profound synergy between public institutions and private industries.

A Confluence Of Corporate Forces

It was a mission wrought from the best of Indian enterprise. While ISRO steered the helm, heavyweights and niche players alike rallied behind it. From Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) launch vehicle booster segments to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s (BHEL) batteries and Godrej & Boyce’s (G&B) liquid propulsion engines, every component resonated with the collective might of India’s technological prowess. In essence, Chandrayaan-3 is less an ISRO exclusive and more a story of Indian collaboration.

Acknowledgements Pour In

Post-touchdown, the airwaves buzzed with accolades. Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), which furnished metallic and composite structures among other crucial components National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), where the launch vehicle was tested, celebrated the event with a statement reinforcing their “unwavering commitment to the Indian Space Program”.

The Indian Space Association (ISpA), the country’s premier space industry body, dubbed it a “historic India moment”, lauding not just ISRO but also private entities like L&T, G&B, Ananth Technologies, Centum Electronics and Walchandnagar Industries that have been integral to ISRO’s journey.

Startups: The New Frontier Stalwarts

But it is not just industry titans that etched their mark on this mission. Indian space tech startups have swiftly risen to the challenge, lending their innovative solutions and showcasing their potential in this vast arena. From Paras Defence’s navigation systems, MTAR Technologies’ contributions to the lander’s propulsion, to Ananth Technologies’ avionics support, Chandrayaan-3 stands as a beacon for India’s entrepreneurial spirit in the space domain.

Wider Industry Response

The ripple effects of Chandrayaan-3’s success have reached far and wide. Rishi Ahuja of Klip VR Immersive Technologies Private. Limited is capitalising on the momentum by launching a virtual reality program that offers students a taste of this historic mission. Esri India’s Managing Director, Agendra Kumar, remarked on India’s monumental accomplishment, placing the nation in the exclusive club of lunar exploration.

A Look At The Space Economy

The successes of Chandrayaan missions have catalysed the growth of India’s ‘space economy’, which surged to an estimated INR 36,794 Crore last March. With the sector expected to burgeon to a $77 Billion market by 2030, the emphasis has shifted to a rich tapestry of startups. These young enterprises are harnessing ISRO’s ethos of cost-effective engineering, positioning India as an emerging force in the global space race.

Challenges & The Road Ahead

Yet, the journey is not without its obstacles. While India basks in the success of Chandrayaan-3, the space tech sector still faces infrastructural, financial, and talent-based challenges. There’s a need for private testing facilities, greater seed-stage investment, and addressing talent scarcity.

Still, Chandrayaan-3 is not just a lunar mission but a beacon for India’s future in space exploration. It exemplifies the combined might of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), private entities, and sprouting startups. As the mission data is analysed and findings are revealed, there’s an air of anticipation, not just for ISRO’s next step but for the entire Indian space tech sector.


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