What is the potential of India in space tech? where do we stand, now let us talk about USA, they launch 19 satellite annually, china launches 25 satellite annually, and Russia the master of all this, launches 34 satellite per year. Now if we see the number of satellight launched by India in recent years, the number is 5-7 per year. So, is the country lagging behind in the field of space tech? The answer is yes! Moreover, the amount of money spent on space program is 1.8 billion dollars. Still the country is lagging behind, but if take a look space tech found its mention in economic survey of 20-21. So,it can be a champion sector this year. One year ago, while announcing package for COVID relief the Financial Minister talked about privatization of space sector, it talked about greater participation of private sector. This decision was considered historic, it invited the private sector to work with ISRO and contribute.
ISRO is a proud organization and it has started its journey in the year 1962, the same year when America has sent their man on moon. But the fact that we have came too far is a proud thing. ISRO has a record of launching satellite at a cheap rate, it has a record of launching 104 satellite in one go. It has also its own space observatory, named as Astrosat, it has also its own navigation system, and many more on the list. It has done a lot from launching the very first rocket under the leadership of Vikram Sarabhai and then sending Chandrayaan (India’sexpedition to the moon) and Mangalyaan (a mars expedition) and a lower transportation expenses till now, ISRO has made us proud.
The budget of ISRO stands at 1.9 billion dollar and that of the NASA is 19 billion dollars, approximately 10 times more than the budget of ISRO, the share of ISRO in world space industry is near to 2%, private players like Jeff, Elon and start ups from china have a share of the global commercial market that is estimated to be worth 350 billion dollar. So, it is the need of the hour for the space sector of India to give a chance to private sector. The private sector should also be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets. Future project for planetary exploration, outer space travel all should be open for private sector.
Today ISRO is fully dependent on only two launch vehicles they are PSLV and GSLV series. And ISRO has performed operation with these lesser power rockets, and moreover India has not developed an engine that is more powerful than Vikas Engine in last 27 years. India is nowhere near self-reliance in terms of launch capabilities as India still pays for French rocket Ariane v to launch its own satellite that weigh over 4 tons.
Space x falcon 9 can lift twice as much payload as India’s most powerful rocket than GSLV mark III, the point here to be noted is falcon 9 Is their smallest rocket. Space x most powerful rocket is able to lift six times as much payload as the Mark III. So, if private sector will participate in the on-goinglaunching facilities, then ISRO will have more time and power to do research and development to increase its capacity. There will be a type of competition between private sector, this can easily boost the growth of India in space sector.
So, from a very long period the space technology zone was reserved for ISRO and a few public sectors but after the last year government move it can prove beneficial to the space tech of India and its potential.
There are certain issues even after the last year announcement, ISRO think that they will only use the suppliers as manufacturing or service partners. And so, the IP will be controlled by ISRO and the suppliers just replace ISRO technicians and productions facilities. This indirectly means most suppliers have no real Ip of their own and they just depend on cost plus contracts from ISRO for business. Another issue that arose is that if something when wrong in the launch who will take the responsibility, the private player? So, in all this aspect guidelines need to be made, a proper framework is necessary.
We must boost private sector by doing the following and the hurdles can be cleared.
Detailed policy for the private players addressing all the issues related to damage, compensation, spectrum, and so on. Body for regulation of the space industry. Incentive such as tax holiday for new start ups in the space sector.
To give a boost to the space sector the Europe model can be followed, Indian government can give funding to private sector and also industry support to private sector.
Looking at the legal front, the country lags a lot. As of 2021 there is no space legislation in India. This is very odd the countries that haven’t made much in space technology have space regulation to cover any eventualities. India do not have their own law, despite ratifying four to five treaties, and signing one. India needs to have own laws relating this matter.
In order to stay most of the pioneers, Indian governments have found out that there's a massive capacity in area generation and there's a pressing want to contain and paintings in partnership with non-public businesses to exploit, failing which India may be decreased to an additionally ran.
India has a strong know-how of each hardware and software. However, because of the capital-extensive layout of digital devices, India has been not able to deliver the important infrastructure. The loss of stringent law to draw overseas funding exacerbates the situation. Despite being one of the few international locations able to developing, manufacturing, and launching satellites into orbit, they may be nonetheless notably reliant on imports for several electric components. If the authorities pass the important law and establishes a single independent window regulator to entice overseas direct investment, a lot can happen
Space tourism is another area of interest and potential opportunity, it can be for fun, amusement, business or education. It can provide numerous prospects for startup in the field of food, clothing and hygiene etc. If all this hurdles that are in privatization, legislature, space tourism and more are cleared our space industry has immense potential.
AND THE TIME HAS COME TO TAP THE UNLOCK POTENTIAL AND SHOW THE WORLD OUR REAL POTENTIAL.