Permitting entry of private players in space projects is new way to ensure efficiency

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jun 26, 2020, 07:20 AM IST


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The Indian government has set-up two bodies that will assist ISRO to facilitate private participation.

Permitting the entry of private players in space projects appears to be the new way to ensure efficiency and optimum utilisation of resources

Space X's Falcon 9 is the first privately-built rocket by Elon Musk's Tesla.

It's historic launch took two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from the Complex 39-A at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Also see: SpaceX astronauts land safely at International Space Station for NASA

The launch last month marked a significant shift in space exploration. For the first time ever, NASA allowed a private player a glimpse beyond the Earth's orbit.

Indian Space Research Organisation has taken its first big step in a similar direction. The Indian government has set-up two bodies that will assist ISRO to facilitate private participation.

ISRO's programs are hailed across the world for running on a shoe-string budget. The Mars mission is staggeringly cheap by western standards.

India is already the global launchpad for small and light satellites. Given the low-budget and limited workforce, routine work hampers advanced research into inter-planetary and human space flight missions.This the big frontier that ISRO needs to conquer.

They were involved earlier as well but in a different capacity.

ISRO has tie-ups with around 150 private firms which are exclusive suppliers to India's space programs.

Now, private players can start building and launching satellites as well. This is an extension of India's aim to become self-reliant.

The sphere of space exploration required special attention as ISRO is fully dependent on two launch vehicles in the PSLV and GSLV series which were conceptualised back in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the last 27 years, ISRO has not been able to develop more powerful propulsion engines. India still uses a French engine to launch its own satellites.

For a manned mission, ISRO needs to improve the payload capacity, which needs an engine that will thrust India to greater heights.

Therefore, the government has decided to open up India's space sector and giving it more time to carry out cutting-edge research.

Leading space explorers such as US, China and the European space agency are encouraging private participation. But the US took the giant leap when it allowed its space agency NASA to collaborate with Elon Musk's Space X.

From Richard Branson to Jeff Bezos, billionaires are creating their own space companies.

A few days ago, China launched its final Beidou satellite. The deployment of china's global navigation system is complete. A network of 35 satellites will power China's own gps system.

Following the border conflict with China,  ISRO's services are required to refine India's satellites for the military.

With this opening of the space sector, routine satellite launches can be left to private players.