Industry-govt tie-up key for space sector growth: Isro chief

Industry-govt tie-up key for space sector growth: Isro chief

Agency to focus on capacity building to up satellite launches

Industry-govt tie-up key for space sector growth: Isro chief

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) wants to jack up its launch capabilities in the coming years. There, however, are a number of impediments to this plan, said the agency’s chairman, A S Kiran Kumar. 

Speaking at the World Space Biz 2016, the international conference on space business, Kumar said the agency already had a capability of nearly one launch per month. “We want to increase our launch frequency by at least one-and-a-half to two times. We are, however, not able to do this because of an inadequate supply chain,” he said.  Although Isro has to its credit 74 satellite launches of various countries and 34 of its own satellites, there is a need to double this figure, said Kumar. “We are short of capacity and need to build capabilities to launch more frequently to give reasonable service,” he said.      

Explaining the different areas where space technology is being used and its potential for growth, he highlighted its uses in geospatial mapping, earth imaging and observation. “From 15 to 20 central government departments that used the technology three-and-half years ago, now 60 central departments and all state governments use it.”

He said deep space research, asteroids and planet mining are other areas where space technology will grow.

To achieve all these aims and for growth in the sector, Kumar said industry-government collaboration was “crucial”.

Ravi Raghavan, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Karnataka Council, called upon the private sector to enter the space industry. “Space is one area that has not been exploited by the private sector. It has enormous potential,” he said.

Rakesh S, chairman, Antrix Corporation Limited, the commercial arm of Isro, said space technology was set to play an important role in people’s lives. “Of the total growth in space tech, 75% is in the area of satellites. There is a booming area of small-scale satellites with 2,000 to 25,000 satellites to be launched soon across the globe,” he said.

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