We know that in the future, many resources will be discovered on Asteroids, Planets and possibly the Moons of our solar system that can be exploited for their contents. Space resources are not limited to mining materials and lunar soil. Valuable space resources also include space itself, which can host satellites with the ability to see and efficiently communicate with large areas of the Earth’s surface. This resource has spawned many applications of space systems that improve life on Earth every day.
Space- The Opportunity In India
In September 2014, with the launch of ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission, India became the first country to reach Mars orbit in the first attempt. ISRO has proven its mettle when it comes to satellite launches, and in 2017, it achieved another feat by launching 104 satellites in a single rocket.
ISRO has so far carried out 110 spacecraft missions, 78 launch missions, ten student satellites, and 328 foreign satellites from 33 countries. It currently has two operational launchers, viz. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). ISRO is also working on Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), a fully reusable launch vehicle and Scramjet Engine, which will use hydrogen as fuel and the oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidizer. A test flight of about 300 seconds, covering 320 kilometers, for Scramjet Engine, was carried out in August 2016.
Apart from providing pivotal infrastructure facilities like launch vehicles, spacecraft, and ground segment facilities, and services in telecommunication, broadcasting, navigation, space science, space exploration, meteorology, and remote sensing, among others, the Indian space sector has been gearing up for a more active commercial approach. The Government announced a policy to boost private participation in space activities, providing an opportunity for young entrepreneurs, Start-ups and private companies in Satellites, Launches, and space-based services. Along with this, the new Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) was formed to assess the need and demand of private players, including educational and research institutions, and explore ways to accommodate these requirements in consultation with ISRO. This opens up new avenues for private players in not just space explorations but in Satellites, Sub-assemblies, Electronic components, materials and other associated domains. Space and satellite are the backbone for predictions that help us in sectors like Agriculture, Weather, Communications, Military, Defence, Banking, Monitoring and Surveillance and in several other domains. The creation of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will help increase the industry’s share in the Indian as well as the global space market.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
There has never been such a decisive Government in India. Major reforms in the Space Sector and Space Tech are an example of this. Government’s approach to space reforms is based on 4 pillars. The space sector is a major medium for the progress of 130 crore countrymen. For India, the space sector means better mapping, imaging and connectivity facilities for the common people. Aatmnirbhar Bharat campaign is not just a vision but also a well-thought, well-planned, integrated economic strategy.
“The Government is moving ahead with a clear policy regarding public sector enterprises and is opening most of these sectors to private enterprises where the government is not required. The decision regarding Air India shows our commitment and seriousness. During the last 7 years, space technology has been converted into a tool of last-mile delivery and leakage-free, transparent governance. To develop a strong startup ecosystem, a platform approach is very important. A platform system is an approach where the Government creates open-access public controlled platforms and makes them available to the industry and enterprises.
(The author is associated with O & TR SPACE)