Space

Summary
  • India’s space program stands out as one of the most cost-effective in the world. India has earned worldwide recognition for launching lunar probes, building satellites, ferrying foreign satellites up and has even succeeded in reaching Mars. *
  • India has two operational launch vehicles: Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The number of launches undertaken by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) during the last five years i.e. from 2015 to 2019 is as follows: *
    • 2015: 5 launches (4 PSLV & 1 GSLV)
    • 2016: 9 launches (6 PSLV, 1 GSLV, 1 Scramjet Engine TD & 1 RLV TD)
    • 2017: 5 launches (3 PSLV & 2 GSLV)
    • 2018: 7 launches (4 PSLV & 3 GSLV)
    • 2019: 6 launches (5 PSLV & 1 GSLV)
  •  From 1999 till December 2021, a total of 342 foreign satellites from 34 countries have been successfully launched on board Indian Polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on a commercial basis. *
  • Total number of 27 satellite missions and 25 launch vehicle missions were successfully accomplished during the last five years (i.e., April 2016 – March 2021). *
Reasons to Invest
  • India’s space programme has attracted global attention for its accelerated rate of development, with a critical appreciation for the following extraordinary explorations: *
    • Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan
    • Chandrayaan-2 Mission(India's 2nd mission to the moon)
    • AstroSat Mission (India’s 1st observatory mission for astronomy)
    • Aditya-L1 Mission (India’s 1st solar observatory in space)
  • The Union Cabinet of India has approved reforms in the Space sector which will boost private sector participation in the entire range of space activities. The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure and also hand-hold, promote and guide the private industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment. Such a thrust from the Government of India is intended to create investment opportunities for private companies in the Space sector in India. *
  • India is considering proposals for collaborations and cooperation in space research with more countries through joint experiments and creating platforms for inflow of expertise. *
  • The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat has been inaugurated to create an ecosystem to put India and ISRO's achievements in the field of space into practical use and connect private companies, Startups with it to take India to new heights in space.*
Key Achievements
  • NavIC uses dual frequency bands, which improves accuracy of dual frequency receivers by enabling them to correct atmospheric errors through simultaneous use of two frequencies. It also helps in better reliability and availability because the signal from either frequency can serve the positioning requirement equally well.*
  • On October 12, 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department Of Space (DOS) and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). MoU will enable NSIL to transfer technologies to the industry. *
  • PM launches the Indian Space Association (ISpA) - The premier industry association of space and satellite companies with the aim to make India Atmanirbhar and a global leader in the space arena. *
  • Indian Astronomers find new method to study environment of extra solar planets using polarisation of light. *
  • ISRO and Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Bhutan signed implementing arrangement concerning cooperation on the development of a joint small satellite. *
  • Indian astronomers have developed the critical noise treatment algorithm to study the environment of exoplanets with better precision. It can increase the accuracy of data from exoplanets by reducing the contamination by the Earth’s atmosphere and the disturbances due to instrumental effects and other factors. *
  • ISRO is developing a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) with private participation to be launched in 1st quarter of 2022. *
  • Government has sanctioned INR 169 Crores for the development of SSLV project. *
  • Indian researchers have developed a high performance industry-standard model for Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN/GaN) High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMTs) with simple design procedures which can be used to make high-power Radio Frequency (RF) circuits owing to its high breakdown voltage. *
  • AlGaN/GaN HEMTs have become the technology of choice for high-frequency and high-power applications like 5G, radars, base stations, satellite communications, etc. *
  • ISRO has launched a total of 129 satellites of Indian Origin and 342 foreign satellites belonging to 36 countries since 1975. *
  • As on 10th February 2022, India has a total of 53 operational satellites in space providing various identified services to the nation. 21 of these are communication satellites, 8 are Navigation satellites, 21 are Earth Observation Satellites and 3 are Science Satellites. *
  • DRDO has developed Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs) to be used in radar imaging satellite modules of EOS 04. More than 30,000 modules have been produced at GAETEC foundry for various space missions. *
  • North India’s first-ever Space Centre is inaugurated in Jammu region. It is the India's second-of-its-kind Space Training Institutes in Jammu & Kashmir after Indian Institute of Space and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. *
  • PSLV-C50 successfully launched CMS-01on December 17, 2020 from Sriharikota. *
  • On February 28, 2021, PSLV-C51 successfully launched Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passenger satellites from Sriharikota. It marked the first dedicated launch for NSIL. *
  • On January 17, 2020, GSAT-30 was successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on board the Arianespace Ariane-5 VA-251 rocket. *
  • Around 60 Start-Ups have registered with ISRO since "unlocking" of the Indian Space sector recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.*
  • six start-ups were selected and supported by ISRO with a grant-in-aid of maximum of INR 50 lakhs each in areas like geo spatial information, propulsion and Robotics/ AR/VR.*
Recent Announcements

28th November 2022: The third generation Indian satellite for monitoring the oceans, formally named as Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) was launched by ISRO in partnership with Ministry of Earth Sciences.

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28th November 2022: ISRO and NSIL successfully launches PSLV C54 mission.

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21st November 2022: ISRO makes history today by successfully launching India’s maiden private Vikram-suborbital (VKS) rocket to grace the skies.

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27th October 2022: NSIL, IN-SPACe and ISRO successfully launches heaviest vehicle LVM3.

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20th August 2022: Indian Navy signed an MoU with the Space Applications Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad on data sharing and cooperation on Satellite based Naval Applications in Oceanology and Meteorology.

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Statistics
  • Space activities in the country were initiated with the setting up of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) in 1962. The Indian Space Research Organisation, better known as ISRO was established in August 1969. *
  • The Government of India constituted the Space Commission and established the Department of Space (DOS) in June 1972 and ISRO was bought under DOS in September 1972. *
  • India's first space observatory, ASTROSAT has successfully completed four years in space and has more than 900 registered users from 24 countries. *
  • India has launched several space missions and explorations. The country has to its credit - 109 spacecraft missions, 77 launch missions, 10 student satellites, 2 Re-entry missions and 319 foreign satellites. *
  • The Indian Space industry was valued at USD 7 bn in 2019 and aims to grow to USD 50 bn by 2024. *
  • India's most powerful launch vehicle, GSLV-MK III capable of launching 4 tons of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) was successfully launched in July, 2019. *
  • India's first inter-planetary mission to "Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)" succesfully completed 5 years in the orbit of Mars in September 2019. *
Growth Drivers
  •  The Virtual Space Museum “SPARK” was launched to showcase digital content pertaining to various ISRO missions in an interactive manner.*
  • North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong will execute 110 projects in Eight North Eastern States by 2024 in the domains of Agriculture, Water Resources, Forestry & Ecology, Planning & Development, UAV Remote Sensing and Disaster Management Support.*
  • ISRO is in the process of developing indigenous capabilities towards space tourism through the demonstration of human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).*
  • "ISRO System for Safe & Sustainable Operation" (IS4OM) at ISRO Control Centre, Bengaluru is inaugurated to provide a comprehensive and timely information of the space environment to users.*
  • Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of 2nd half of 2022. This will be followed by second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human robot developed by ISRO and finally the first crewed Gaganyaanmission in 2023. *
  • Cabinet approves Transfer of 10 In-orbit Communication Satellites from Government of India to M/s. NewSpace India Ltd.(NSIL). This approval is expected to trigger domestic economic activity in space sector and increase India's share in the global space market.*
  • Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science and Technology (KCCRSST) was inaugurated at Chandigarh University with the objectives of training students in space science, satellite development, meet future challenges in space research ensuring India’s leading position in future technologies. *
  • ISRO has signed six agreements with four countries for launching foreign satellites during 2021-2023. 132 Million Euros would be earned through launching of these foreign satellites on a commercial basis. *
  • IRIS will extend its support on demand basis to 58 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) across geographic regions by facilitating access to existing financial mechanisms for resilient infrastructure development. *
  • As part of the space sector reforms, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) is created to ensure greater participation of private sector in space activities. *
  • In 2022, ISRO has the distinction of launching GSAT-21, the first fully funded satellite of NSIL (New Space India Limited) and will be owned as well as operated by NSIL. This Communication Satellite will meet the DTH (Direct to Home) application needs. *
  • RICAT-1A PSLV C5-2 scheduled for February 2022, OCEANSAT-3, INS 2B ANAND PSLV C-53 to be launched in March 2022 and SSLV-D1 Micro SAT in April 2022. *
  • ISRO has plans to develop space telescopes dedicated for UV and visible/IR astronomy. The planned UV telescope will be made up of a 1 meter mirror and will provide the deepest images in UV. *
  • Department of Space, DOS aims to facilitate private sector participation in Space activities and thus is revising the existing policies in space domain and new policy framework is being drafted to address various space sectors such as SpaceCom, Remote Sensing, Technology Transfer, Navigation, Space Transportation, Space exploration and Space Situational Awareness. *

THE INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION (ISRO) *

  • The prime objective of ISRO is to develop space technology and its application to various national tasks. 
  • ISRO and India signed space cooperative documents with space agencies of 59 countries.

SPACE COMMERCE: *

  • Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial and marketing arm of the Department of Space has undertaken many initiatives for the global marketing of space products and services. Antrix has continued to expand its market base ever since its inception in 1992. 
  • New Space India Limited (NSIL) is responsible for enabling industries in India to upgrade high-tech manufacturing bases for the Indian Space Programme. 

LAUNCH VEHICLES

  • Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV): SLV’s first successful launch took place in 1980; SLV-3 from Sriharikota Range (SHAR). *
  • Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV): Designed to augment payload capacity, the first launch test of ASLV was held in 1987, and three others followed in 1988, 1992 and 1994. *
  • Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV): The third generation launch vehicle of India, PSLV was successfully launched in 1994 for the first time. *
  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV): The largest launch vehicle developed by India, GSLV was first launched in 2001. *

SPACE SCIENCE PROGRAMME *

  • The Department of Space implements space programs and promotes research activities at the following facilities: 
    • Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)
    • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL)
    • North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NE-SAG)
    • Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL)
    • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST)
  • Some renowned space research and development centres in India are as given below 
    • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram
    • U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru
    • Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota
    • Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram and Karnataka
    • Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad
    • Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), Karnataka 
    • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad
    • ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri 

SATCOM *

  • Satellite Communication is touching the common man’s life in a bigger and better way – for entertainment, Bank ATMs, distance learning, live news coverage, telemedicine etc. Antrix is providing commercial satellite-based services to various Indian users, across a wide cross-section of private, public, Government and strategic sectors, through 85 foreign leased transponders for a multitude of applications like DTH, VSAT and Cellular Backhauling etc.
  • SATCOM business segment continues to be a major revenue earner for the company amounting to approx. 60% of the operating revenue.
FDI Policy
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 100% is allowed in satellites-establishment and operation, subject to the sectoral guidelines of the Department of Space/ISRO, under the government route. *
Sector Policy

SATELLITE COMMUNICATION POLICY *

  • A policy framework for Satellite Communication in India had been approved by Government in 1997. The norms, guidelines and procedures for implementation of the Policy Framework for Satellite Communications in India, were approved by the government in the year 2000. The aim of the policy is to build capability and develop the country in the area of satellites. To fulfill the purpose, the INSAT program plays an important role. It is managed by the INSAT Coordination Committee (ICC) with technical support from its Technical Advisory Group (TAG). 

REMOTE SENSING *

  • In 2011, India adopted the Remote Sensing Data (RSD) Policy. The nodal agency for all actions under the policy is Department of Space (DoS) of the Government of India. The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of ISRO/ DOS is consigned with the authority to obtain and circulate all satellite remote sensing data in India, both from Indian and foreign satellites. Antrix Corporation Ltd. (of DOS) will be accountable for grant of license for acquisition/ distribution of IRS data outside India. 

DRAFT SPACECOM POLICY- 2020 *

  • Department of Space published “Draft- Spacecom Policy-2020”. The policy aims to meet the growing demand of space based communication requirements of the nation. This will boost Government’s initiatives towards Self Reliant India (Aatmanirbhar Bharat) that will drive focus on “ease of doing business” and encourage healthy competitiveness in the growth of the national economy.

 

Financial Support

Union Budget 2022-23 *

  • The total budgetary allocation for FY 2022-23 towards the Department of Space is INR 13,700  cr. 
International Cooperation
  • As on April 2022, ISRO/DOS and India have signed space cooperative documents with space agencies of 60 countries and multinational bodies (European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts - ECMWF; European Commission-EC; European Organisation for the Exploitation of Metrorological Satellites - EUMETSAT; European Space Agency- ESA; and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation - SAARC). *
  • ISRO continues to share its facilities, expertise and services in the application of space technology through various courses offered by the Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) and United Nations (UN) affiliated Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTE-AP) at Dehradun. As of now, there are more than 1100 beneficiaries from 52 countries. *
  • ISRO is also a participant of the various conventions and conferences organized by the following globally acclaimed space organizations:  *
    • International Astronautical Federation (IAF)
    • International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)
    • International Institute of Space Law (IISL)
    • Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS)
    • International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
    • Coordination Group on Meteorological Satellites (CGMS)
    • International Committee for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG)
    • Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
    • International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG)
    • Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC)
  • India has signed various cooperative agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with other countries and organizations as an initiative to expand its international outreach. The areas of co-operation are mainly concerned with remote sensing of the earth, airborne synthetic aperture radar, maritime domain awareness, satellite communication, launch services, space exploration, space law and capacity building. Some important agreements are listed below: *
    • IA between ISRO and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • IA between ISRO and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
    • MoU between India and Tunisia 
    • Implementing Arrangement (IA) between ISRO and Korea Aerospace Research Institute for cooperation
    • IA between ISRO and German Aerospace Center (DLR) 
    • Statement of Intent between ISRO and Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency
    • IA between ISRO and National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), France
    • Agreement between India and Mongolia
Projects

Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) *

  • India's first interplanetary mission to planet Mars with an orbiter craft designed to orbit Mars was launched successfully on 5th November 2013 by PSLV-C25 from Sriharikota. Beyond the designed mission life of six months, the orbiter completed 5 years in its orbit on 24th September 2019. 

Chandrayaan-2 *

  • India's second moon mission, Chandrayaan 2 was launched on 22nd July 2019. It was inserted in the Lunar Transfer Trajectory on 14th August 2019. Launched with an aim to expand lunar scientific knowledge through detailed studies of surface chemical composition, topography, thermo-physical characteristics and mineralogy, the orbiter successfully completed more than 4400 orbits around the Moon. 

Gaganyaan – Human Space Flight Programme *

  • The Gaganyaan project is being primarily executed by Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), which was constituted in January 2019 in ISRO to implement the Human Space Flight Programme. The objective of the Gaganyaan project is to demonstrate human space flight capability to Low Earth orbit (LEO) with 3 crew members for 5-7 days in orbit and then safely recover them after the mission. The first manned mission to space is scheduled in December 2021. 

FOREIGN SATELLITES *

  • From 1999 till 15th December 2021, a total of 342 foreign satellites from 34 countries have been successfully launched on board Indian Polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) on a commercial basis
Sector Reports
  1. Annual Report 2021-2022
Agencies
Sources
  1. Annual Report 2019-20, Department of Space, Government of India, https://www.isro.gov.in/sites/default/files/flipping_book/annual_report_2019-20_english/files/assets/common/downloads/Annual%20Report%202019-20%20(English).pdf
  2. Launches from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota, India, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), https://www.isro.gov.in/launches-sdsc-shar-sriharikota-india
  3. Missions, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), https://www.isro.gov.in/missions
  4. "Historic reforms initiated in the Space sector, Private sector participation in Space activities approved", PIB, https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1633901
  5. Year End Review: Department of Space, PIB, https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1598005#:~:text=ISRO%20has%20successfully%20accomplished%2013missionsincluding06,missions%20during%20the%20year%202019.&text=The%20successful%20launch%20of%20GSLV,accomplished%20in%20July%2022%2C2019.
  6. Chandrayaan-2 completes a year around the Moon, ISRO, https://www.isro.gov.in/chandrayaan-2-completes-year-around-moon
  7. Consolidated FDI Policy, https://static.investindia.gov.in/s3fs-public/2020-09/FDI%20Policy%202020%20revised_18%20Sept%202020.pdf
  8. India's Space Policy, ISRO, https://www.isro.gov.in/indias-space-policy-0
  9. SLV, Launchers, ISRO,  https://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/slv
  10. ASLV, Launchers, ISRO,  https://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/aslv
  11. PSLV, Launchers, ISRO,  https://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/pslv
  12. GSLV, Launchers, ISRO,  https://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/gslv
  13. Department of Space, https://www.isro.gov.in/sites/default/files/draft_spacecom_policy_2020.pdf
  14. Department of Space, https://www.isro.gov.in/update/19-oct-2020/technology-transfer-mou-signed-between-dos-and-nsil
  15. PIB Release, https://www.pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1703828
  16. Annual Report 2021-22,  https://www.isro.gov.in/sites/default/files/anual_report_2020-2021_english.pdf

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