Technology beyond space – Encouraging private sector will increase opportunities

Source: The post is based on the article “Technology beyond space – Encouraging private sector will increase opportunities” published in Business Standard on 1st September 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Indigenization of Technology

Relevance: Measures required to enhance India’s space sector.

News: India’s space economy is currently worth around $8 billion, which is less than 2% of the global space economy, estimated to be worth around $500 billion.

However, India is trying to increase its contribution through a multipronged effort.

What efforts are being taken by India to increase its contribution in the space sector?

Space Policy: The new Indian Space Policy aims to boost India’s contribution to $45 billion in the next decade.

InSpace: InSpace, ISRO’s commercial arm, will explore new opportunities and provide technical expertise and facility access to Indian companies.

Private Sector Involvement: ISRO will emphasize the transfer of its technical expertise and offer assistance, including granting access to its facilities, to India’s private sector.

About 85% of Chandrayaan-3’s components were already made by commercial organizations, reflecting a shift toward capitalizing on space tech for commercial purposes and increased industry participation in India’s space sector.

Artemis Accords: India’s involvement in the Artemis Accord opens up opportunities for Indian firms to bid for future contracts with NASA, further multiplying potential opportunities in the space industry.

What have been India’s achievements in the space sector?

India has over 400 aerospace startups and established engineering firms entering the space sector. Increased access to ISRO’s technology and testing facilities will speed up this growth.

The next decade could witness 50,000 satellite launches, creating a substantial market opportunity for India. Private sector involvement has lowered satellite launch costs by nearly 90% per kilogram.

Indian consortiums also aim to enter the satellite launch market. Enabling technology transfer will help them to build rockets and establish their own launch facilities.

Must Read: Explained | Why is India’s space industry looking for private sector investment?

What can be the way ahead?

The space economy drives growth and innovation in numerous sectors like meteorology, agriculture, energy, and more.

It also offers opportunities in hardware, software, and defense applications along with possibilities like asteroid mining, marine habitat adaptation, etc.

India can benefit from these opportunities. However, governments worldwide must balance private sector involvement with taking environmental and safety considerations along with minimal regulation.

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