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Space achievements of new India
Space achievements of India have brought India into the club of 6 elite nations that have proved their mettle in space research. India has covered a long and laudable journey in establishing its reach there. From depending on other countries to launch its satellites to now being lauded for its low-cost launch vehicles, India has come afar. And this came at a minuscule budget compared to other countries’ space spending.
The importance of space research for India
Space and satellite are the backbones for knowledge and information dissemination. They have helped revolutionized other sectors like agriculture, weather, defense, communication, banking, and surveillance. With its Hyperspectral imaging satellite (HysIS) we can study the earth’s surface in visible as well as in a range of the infrared spectrum. earth observation satellite of India, RISAT-2B can pierce through the earth even in thick cloud cover and keep its surveillance game on. India will be using these technologies to address its pressing socio-economic needs. Satellite-based agri-support and weather forecasts would greatly help the farmers, distance education has now become the need of post-pandemic times, multimedia and long-range communication is all possible with these satellites in space. Global Standards Body which develops protocols for mobile telephony has approved India’s regional navigation system NavIC. We will soon have mobile phones supporting our NAVIC instead of GPS. Indian Angry Bird, GSAT-7A has advanced our military communication like never before. Space has become the backbone of the defense sector also.
Space-academia-industry nexus: the biggest space achievement of India
A notable development in recent times has been the development of space-industry partnerships to supplement commerce and economic development. This enabled an efficient integration of space science with industrial applications. The technology transfer of Li-ion to Indian industries was the first step towards this goal. ISRO selected 10 industries to enable the development of Li-ion cell technology.
Space technology cells have been established in IITs and NITs to take up space technology research and applications to new heights. Such initiatives will also prevent brain drain from India. In tune with the government vision of ‘Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan’ (Hail Science, Hail Research), a special program for school children called YUVIKA is being given a push.
Such thoughtful initiatives to bring space, academia, and industry in one line will go a long way towards India’s development.
ISRO’s achievements in space exploration
After the phenomenal success of India’s MOM, Mars-orbital-mission and Chandrayan, we are gearing up for our very own human spaceflight mission, ‘Gaganyaan’. For this, the crucial crew escape system has already been tested. It aims to put four Indian astronauts in space, including one woman. Despite the COVID hit, the launch is being planned before our 75th independence day.
Not just that, ISRO is now using lunar soil and guar beans to develop brick-like structures for habitation on the moon! Chandrayan-2 is also up, on the moon, studying lunar topography, mineralogy, and structure. India is only the fourth country in the world to achieve this foot of soft landing on the moon. Now Chandrayan-3 is gearing up for launch next year.
Moon is not the limit. India wants to unravel the mysteries of sun as well with its Aditya-L1 solar mission.
Privatization of space
The space sector and its associated economic development have been democratized to a great extent today. From being run only at the government level to being ruled by private players now, the diversification it has achieved is huge. L&T, Godrej Aerospace are competing as well as collaborating with ISRO. There is a contribution from large enterprises and even small SMEs in manufacturing components for the space value chain. Innovative startups are disrupting space with their cost-effective initiatives. Today even the government is coming up with policies to incentivize private participation in space. The In-SPACe, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre is a newly formed government body to spur private participation in space.
Next year, in 2022, India will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of its Department of Space. To drumroll with the celebrations, ISRO has outlined its own plans. It will be building reusable heavy lift launchers, advanced propulsion and faster private space activities across the year. With this will open a new frontier, a new future.
Also Read: Space: A new world, the new future