Space Technology Could Benefit and Connect Every Part of India
During the initial stages of COVID-19 lockdown in India that eerie silence broke during events like plates or bells clanging, hands clapping and one simple lamp lighting turned into a sort of fiery fest. Although that lamp lighting event might have fired up a bit giving Deepawali competition, these events did resonate volumes of gratitude to the COVID-Warriors who had to be physically present for their work to safeguard the lives of everyone including the masses working from home and those attending online classes. Yet voices of discomfort and dislike arose from those who found the idea of social distancing, work-from-home including online classes as distasteful, dominating those who had it worse.
While it may be true that companies and governments are striving to provide better network connectivity services, a lot of parts still remain logged out to this date in the country. Many had lost their jobs, unable to attend schools or just that most places did not have facilities such as ‘online-classes’ making that illiteracy and unemployment gap bigger.
On the bright side, 2021 came as a year full of plans such as making the country a reliable technology manufacturing hub consisting of plans for many sectors and one being a hub for cost-effective satellite launches. Since staying connected or having access to internet facilities means a great deal for those deprived of such services. Accordingly, the government, space research-related organizations and the like are seen to be investing efforts to not only improvise connectivity but to ensure that every part of the country has access to the internet. Therefore, the Union Minister Jitendra Singh declared that the government is already engaged in efforts to democratize space technology for the benefit of the common man as well as to explore its transformative potential.
Space Technology Will Soon be Open to All
During the launch ceremony of the Indian Space Association, a sector with big names such as Bharti Airtel, Larsen and Toubro, Agnikul, Dhruva Space and Kawa Space, the Union Minister Jitendra Singh confirmed that the government is working on democratizing space technology. In a way that serves beneficial to the common man as well as exploring how far this space can be transformed in its potential.
Mr.Mittal claims that, "OneWeb would be the first client to enter the Indian space sector with a commercial footprint, now that OneWeb has revealed plans to launch satellites from Indian soil
Even in its current state, the space sector is known to be tremendously profitable, now that there is demand for micro and mini satellites, there’s no telling how heavy those money bags could get. To quench that demand, the ISRO along with the government are in that commercial sector with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), while still launching their own satellites and other locally developed payloads. This means that other commercial aerospace businesses will be able to use their launch services. To spice it up, the ISRO has built relationships with many enterprises that include private and public enterprises, thereby giving rise to operational missions as well as venturing into a new spec called satellite navigation.
While that’s that, another demand which talks about how reusable and tiny satellite launch systems could help propel the market.
However, prior to the aforementioned objectives, it’s notable to bring up the fact that the country had hailed its first space observatory project known as ASTROSAT which installed 104 satellites in orbit in a record setting launch in 2017.
Till date it’s worth mentioning that the country has 109 spacecraft missions, 77 launch missions, 10 student satellites, 2 Re-entry missions and 319 foreign satellites
How Far Can Space Technology Go?
The government has launched a series of reforms to unlock the transformative potential of space technology and make India self-reliant and technologically advanced in the space domain.
At the same time, there’s also focus on promoting the ease of business in terms of industry and share to stand strong that the nation is bent on establishing a niche and disruptive technologies for strategic solidarity. In that space, the Prime Minister has set three-pronged initiative to turn India into a strong space economy capable enough to produce $ 5 trillion to its economy.
On the policy front, Singh said, the government has pushed for several policy initiatives, including the National Space Policy, as well as segment-specific policies related to remote sensing, space communication, satellite navigation, humans in space, FDI in space, space scientific experiments, space transport, and technology transfer, among others, with Modi's indulgence and support.
"These policies on space communications, remote sensing, satellite navigation, and space transportation have been made public in order to solicit feedback from all stakeholders including the general public. I'm happy to notify you that we're nearing the end of the process”, says a gleeful Singh.
There’s another initiative that is by OneWeb which plans to launch satellites from the Indian Soil with the support of ISRO facilities.
Launching Satellites from the Indian Soil Could Soon be Possible
OneWeb, a subsidiary of the Bharti Group, would be the first private business to launch satellites from Indian soil utilizing ISRO facilities, according to Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises. OneWeb now has 322 satellites in orbit, and it expects to launch satellites from Indian land using ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III rockets.
"I am certain that with this new venture, more international clients would flock to ISRO's Asian headquarters." We have an exciting future ahead of us. The Prime Minister is on the right track and it's about time that the industry acted”, proclaims Mr.Mittal
OneWeb had applied to the Indian telecom department for two permits, a national long distance (NLD) and a GMPCS (global mobile personal communications by satellite services) license, to provide satellite broadband services using its global LEO constellation.
Mr.Mittal claims that, "OneWeb would be the first client to enter the Indian space sector with a commercial footprint, now that OneWeb has revealed plans to launch satellites from Indian soil.
Prior to the venture, Mr.Mittal stated that the company will invest approximately Rs.250-300 crore ($30-$40 million) in India to develop new ground stations as it prepares to provide high-speed satellite internet services across the country next year.