India has undergone a remarkable transformation in the field of space exploration, earning itself the reputation of being a potential superpower in the space world. Over the past three years, India’s role in the space sector has evolved significantly. Previously, the country had only one technology space start-up related to this sector. However, the number of registered start-ups in India has now skyrocketed to 140, a clear testament to its growing presence in the industry. India’s share in the private space sector has also witnessed a substantial increase, climbing from less than 0.1 percent to over 2 percent.
The Rising Number of Space Companies
India has witnessed a surge in the number of companies involved in the development of satellites and rocket engines, reaching an impressive count of about 400. When it comes to providing space services, the United States leads among major countries, followed by China, Japan, and Britain. Remarkably, India has secured the fifth spot, with over 400 companies actively engaged in space technology. This achievement is indeed significant, and it is projected that India’s pace of establishing space-related start-ups could propel it to second place globally, just behind the United States.
The Growing Space Economy
The global space economy currently stands at approximately Rs 30 lakh crore, with India’s space economy valued at Rs 57,431 crore. However, experts predict an annual growth rate of 48 percent over the next five years. If this estimation holds true, India’s space economy could reach an impressive Rs 4.10 lakh crore during this period. Notably, many start-ups in India are not confined to manufacturing alone; they are also actively involved in the development of satellites and rocket engines.
A Vision of Innovation
India’s ascendancy in the field of space can be attributed to a shift in focus from imitation to innovation. Indian companies are no longer content with copying or working for Western countries; instead, they are prioritizing innovation. Innovation serves as the driving force that propels a nation to success. Start-ups in India are conducting their own research and employing teams of highly capable engineers. It is worth noting that India boasts some of the most talented engineers in the world, prompting major global companies to invest in Indian start-ups. In the past year alone, these start-ups have received fresh investments worth Rs 1,000 crore, with further growth anticipated.
The Role of Prime Minister Modi’s Program
One of the major catalysts behind India’s success in the space sector is the program launched by Prime Minister Modi, with the goal of establishing India as the world’s leading power in space. Another contributing factor to this success is the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which consistently sets new records in space exploration. Since 2014, ISRO launched 44 spacecraft missions and 42 launch vehicle missions. Now, even NASA, the American space agency, expresses interest in collaborating with ISRO.
Chandrayaan-3: A Step Forward
Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission, is entirely “Made in India.” It is set to launch at 2.35 p.m. on July 14 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The same launch vehicle used for Chandrayaan-2 will be utilized. This mission aims to study the lunar surface, and it carries a range of scientific instruments. Notably, Chandrayaan-2 was the first mission worldwide to venture to the Moon’s south polar region, also known as the “dark side.” Chandrayaan-3 has a budget of Rs 978 crore. These modules house various instruments to conduct scientific measurements, including thermal conductivity, seismicity, and plasma density.
Embracing Success, Dismissing Critics
Despite India’s remarkable progress in space exploration, there are still individuals within the country who choose to mock initiatives such as the Chandrayaan 3 mission on social media. These naysayers oppose major endeavors, including India’s own COVID-19 vaccine and the construction of a new Parliament House. However, it is essential to reflect on India’s journey, considering that during the 1960s, ISRO’s rockets and spare parts were transported to the launch site using cycles and bullock carts.
India’s remarkable evolution from the “Country of Snake Charmers” to the “Country of Space Charmers” is a testament to its determination, innovation, and the dedicated efforts of its engineers and scientists. With continued support, investment, and a focus on innovation, India has the potential to cement its position as a leading power in the global space sector.