- 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 eight years i.e. from 2015 to 2022 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)
- 2020: 2 launches (2 PSLV)
- 2021: 2 launches (1 PSLV & 1 GSLV)
- 2022: 5 launches (5 PSLV)
- Department of Space is in the process of establishing a predictable, forward-looking, enabling regulatory regime for space activities in the country, through a comprehensive, well-defined policy for the entire gamut of such activities.*
- Reasons to Invest
- ISRO and European Space Agency (ESA) have enhanced their cooperation from earth observation and space exploration domains to other areas. Cooperative documents were signed for Network and Operations Cross-support and also for ESA’s ground station support for ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions.*
- Till date, ISRO/DOS and India have signed space cooperative documents with space agencies of 61 countries and 5 multinational bodies. *
- With a greater focus on developmental missions, the safety and quality teams worked towards the certification, quality assurance, and safety aspects of novel technologies for the Re-usable Launch Vehicle - Landing Experiment (RLV-LEX) and the first developmental flight of a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV D1).*
- ISRO successfully demonstrated new technology with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD) – a game changer with multiple applications for future missions.*
- 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)
- Key Achievements
- The first developmental flight of a small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) was conducted. *
- As of date, NSIL has successfully launched 48 International and 1 Indian customer satellite on board PSLV.*
- ISRO through its commercial arms has successfully launched 177 foreign satellites belonging to 19 countries during the last five years. *
- Altogether 44 spacecraft missions, 42 launch vehicle missions and 5 technology demonstrators, have been successfully realized, since 2014 till 20th Dec,2022.*
- The second developmental flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), SSLV-D2 was successfully launched on February 10, 2023.*
- Recent Announcements
22nd Aug 2023: Chandrayaan-3 mission is attracting wider international collaborations for India, says Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh
21st Aug 2023: Chandrayaan-3's triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 140 crore Indians: PM
17th Aug 2023: Dr Jitendra Singh says, the exclusive findings and inputs of Chandrayaan-3 will benefit the entire World Community
10th Aug 2023: Indian Space Policy 2023 that has the provision for utilization of spaceport for carrying out launch activities by Non-Government Entities (NGEs), subject to technical feasibility and range safety constraints: Dr Jitendra Singh.
10th Aug 2023: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh says, the Indian Space Policy – 2023 opens up the sector for enhanced participation of Non-Government Entities (NGEs) across the entire value chain of the space economy
- Growth Drivers
- Two satellites Thybolt-1 and Thybolt-2 have been registered as Indian Space Objects.*
- Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has recently taken a decision to increase the number of Post-Doctoral Fellowships (PDFs) from 300 annually to 1000 to attract Indian talent to contribute to STI ecosystem in India. *
- ISRO will launch 72 satellites of the UK-based Network Access Associates Limited and place them in low Earth orbits under a commercial agreement with NewSpace India Limited. *
- The Department of Space has initiated studies towards undertaking the development of critical technologies required to achieve Autonomous Precision Landing of Space Rockets.*
- 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. *
- NASA and ISRO have jointly manufactured an earth science satellite named, NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) at a cost of about INR 470 cr.*
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 cooperation 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.
- 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
- 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 2023-24*
- The total budgetary allocation for FY 2023-24 towards the Department of Space is INR 12543.91 cr.
- International Cooperation
- In order to intensify the existing space relations and also to establish new relations with other nations in the peaceful uses of outer space, 12 cooperative documents with foreign entities were signed.*
- India-Russia space cooperation made significant progress, mainly in the field of the Human Spaceflight Programme. Wind Tunnel testing of the Gaganyaan Crew Module and Crew Escape System is progressing at the Glavkosmos facility with three models supplied by ISRO. *
- Space cooperation with France has expanded beyond Earth observation to include newer areas, including human spaceflight and space situational awareness (SSA). ISRO – CNES joint workshop on SSA was conducted at Toulouse with ISRO officials participating in person. *
- India-Japan space cooperation is currently focusing on lunar exploration, satellite navigation, and earth observation. ISRO and JAXA are specifically working on completing the phase-A study of the joint Lunar polar exploration mission; finalizing the instruments to be accommodated in lander and rover; sharing earth observation data for agro-meteorology products and rice crop monitoring; and establishing ISRO’s NavIC reference station in Japan. The validity of IA for Agromet collaboration with JAXA was extended up to November 2025.*
- ISRO and European Space Agency (ESA) have enhanced their cooperation from earth observation and space exploration domains to other areas. *
- India and USA intensified their space cooperation and carried out many activities. Significant progress has been made in the joint realization of the microwave remote sensing satellite mission, ‘NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)’. *
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
- Launches from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota, India, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), https://www.isro.gov.in/launches-sdsc-shar-sriharikota-india
- Missions, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), https://www.isro.gov.in/missions
- "Historic reforms initiated in the Space sector, Private sector participation in Space activities approved, https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1633901
- 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.
- Chandrayaan-2 completes a year around the Moon, ISRO, https://www.isro.gov.in/chandrayaan-2-completes-year-around-moon