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Introduction

  • Skyroot Aerospace plans to launch India’s first privately developed rocket as part of its inaugural mission, Prarambh.
  • The Department of Space (DOS) is encouraging private companies to participate in space activities in order to increase the diffusion of space technology and the country’s space economy.

Body

Prarambh’s Mission

  • The Prarambh mission aims to carry three payloads into space, including a 2.5-kilogram payload developed by students from various countries.
  • The Hyderabad-based startup developed the Prarambh mission and the Vikram-S rocket with significant assistance from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre).
  • If Prarambh is successful, Skyroot Aerospace will become India’s first private space company to launch a rocket into space.
  • Private participation is required.
  • For a long time, private sectors have participated in Indian space on a small scale. The private sector is responsible for a large portion of the manufacturing and fabrication of rockets and satellites. Research institutions are also becoming more involved.
  • However, the Indian industry held only a 3% share of a rapidly growing global space economy worth at least $360 billion.
    • Rocket and satellite launch services account for only 2% of this market, requiring significant infrastructure and investment.
    • The remaining 95% concerned satellite-based services and ground-based systems.
  • Indian industry is unable to compete because its primary role has been that of component and sub-system suppliers.
  • Indian industries lack the resources and technology to undertake independent space projects of the type undertaken by US companies such as SpaceX, or to provide space-based services.
  • Even within India, demand for space-based applications and services is increasing, and ISRO is unable to meet it.
  • The demand for satellite data, imagery, and space technology now spans industries ranging from weather to agriculture to transportation to urban development and beyond.
  • There is a need for greater dissemination of space technologies, improved utilisation of space resources, and increased demand for space-based services.

Recent developments in India’s space sector privatisation

  • IN-SPACE: IN-SPACe was established to level the playing field for private companies using Indian space infrastructure.
    • It serves as a single point of contact between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and anyone interested in participating in space-related activities or using India’s space resources.
  • NewSpace India Limited (NSIL): Announced in Budget 2019, its goal is to commercialise ISRO’s research and development over the years through Indian industry partners.
  • Indian Space Association (ISpA): ISpA aspires to be the industry’s collective voice in India. ISpA will be represented by leading domestic and international corporations with advanced space and satellite technologies.

Conclusion

In the coming years, several ambitious space missions are planned, including a mission to observe the Sun, a mission to the Moon, a human spaceflight, and possibly a human landing on the Moon. And, in order to accomplish all of this, ISRO requires assistance and support from the private sector.

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