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India's Evolving Space Economy

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  • Published
    16th Dec, 2023


Space is becoming an important component of the India's economy with Space Startups attracting private investment amounting to more than Rs.1, 000 crore.


India’s Space Sector

  • India's space sector is globally recognized for cost-effective satellite building, and it advocates for peaceful and civilian use of outer space.
  • ISRO has an exceptional success rate and is the 6th largest space agency globally.
  • India has over 400 private space companies and ranks fifth globally in terms of the number of space companies.
  • Recent developments include;
  • Setting up the Defence Space Agency (DSA).
  • Expanding satellite manufacturing capabilities, which are expected to reach USD 3.2 billion by 2025.
  • ISRO launched SAMVAD, a student outreach program to encourage space research among young minds.
  • Challenges:

However, the space sector faces major challenges as well including:

  • lack of regulations on commercialisation which could lead to monopolisation
  • rising space debris from increasing expeditions
  • China's rapid growth in the space industry and potential weaponization
  • Increasing global trust deficit creating an environment of suspicion and potential conflict

About Space sector and Economy:

  • Private Investment Soars
    • Robust private interest is evident as space startups attract over Rs. 1,000 crore in FY.
  • Exponential Growth Projection
    • India's current space economy at 8 billion dollars may reach 100 billion dollarby 2040, aligning with global projections.
  • Strategic Reforms and Startups
    • PM Modi's reforms lead to a surge in Space startups from 1 to 190 in four years, transforming India's space landscape.
  • Cost-Effective Space Missions
    • India's cost-effective approach with Chandrayaan-3 at Rs. 600 crore versus Russia's Rs. 16,000 crore underscores leveraging intellectual resources.
  • Global Recognition and Achievements
    • India's space missions gain global acclaim, showcasing advancements and affirming competence in space technology.
  • Inclusive Approach
    • PM Modi's inclusive space policies unlock the potential of India's youth, validating Dr.Vikram Sarabhai's vision.
  • Applications in Diverse Sectors
    • Space technology integrates into sectors like agriculture, disaster management, and healthcare, demonstrating pervasive impact.
  • Women Leading Space Projects
    • Women take the forefront in leading significant space projects, marking a paradigm shift in space exploration.
  • Upcoming Projects:
    • Gaganyaan's unmanned test with 'Vyommitra' anticipates human spaceflight capability, highlighting India's trajectory towards manned space missions. The Deep Sea Mission adds a unique dimension.
  • Strategic Shift in Space Leadership
    • Recognition of India's evolving space leadership and economic contribution positions it strategically in the global space arena.

Indian Space Policy, 2023:

  • The Indian Space Policy 2023 is a comprehensive set of guidelines that outlines the roles and responsibilities of different entities in the Indian space sector.
  • Research & Development: The policy aims to keep India at the cutting edge of space research and development. ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organisation, has been tasked with focusing on applied research, technology development, and human spaceflight capabilities.
  • Efficient collaboration between public and private sector: The policy outlines a strong emphasis on sharing technologies, products, processes, and best practices with New Generation Entities (NGEs) and Government companies.
  • Privatising: The policy permits non-government entities to undertake end-to-end activities in the space sector through the establishment and operation of space objects, ground based assets and related services such as communication, remote sensing and navigation.
  • Democratizing Data for All: Data with a Ground Sample Distance (GSD) of 5 meters and higher will be made freely accessible on a timely basis.
  • o    This initiative promises to empower researchers, industries, and the general public with valuable information for various applications. In contrast, data with a GSD of less than 5 meters will be available for free to Government entities and at fair pricing for NGEs.
  • Focus on human spaceflight capabilities: ISRO will work on developing the necessary technologies, infrastructure, and ecosystem for sustained human presence in space. This ambitious goal promises to propel India into the ranks of spacefaring nations. Additionally, the policy emphasizes the development of a collaborative framework for scientific research in multidisciplinary domains related to human space activities.
  • Celestial Prospecting and In-situ Resource Utilization: ISRO is set to undertake studies and missions focused on in-situ resource utilization, celestial prospecting, and other aspects of extra-terrestrial habitability. This forward-looking approach will help India pave the way for future space exploration and utilization of resources beyond Earth.
  • Applicability: This policy is applicable to any space activity to or from Indian Territory or within the jurisdiction of India, including the area to the limit of its exclusive economic zone.

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