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Indian space industry witnessed major milestones in 2022

The Indian space industry witnessed significant growth in recent times. And the year 2022 was indeed a success story as the industry achieved remarkable milestones under the guidance of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

When it comes to the space industry, India will remember 2022 as a year that had a high percentage of successful launches. Besides that, India also saw the biggest commercial launch, leasing launch vehicles to private corporations, and launching rocket and satellite payloads for Indian corporate entities.

Several factors have played their parts when it comes to the Indian space industry and its substantial growth. But there's no denying the fact that privatisation of the Indian space sector opened new doors with many opportunities.

As part of changes to boost commercial participation in the space sector, the government launched a new organisation, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), in June 2020.

Through IN-SPACe, an organisation inside the Department of Space, the Indian government allowed private actors to participate in space exploration.

The government established NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to increase the participation of Indian Industries in undertaking high-tech space-related operations.

Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt (Retd), who is the director general of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), said that as we look back at the year 2022, the "industry witnessed some major milestones in the growth journey of the private sector with NSIL authorising the space conglomerate formed by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and HAL an Rs 860-crore contract for the commercial development of next 5 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) and the pact of OneWeb with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to launch LEO satellites from India and signing the first license contract with DoT for satellite broadband followed by the successful launch of 36 LEO satellites from Sriharikota".

He thanked the government for the steps taken to better the industry, and said that "the growth achieved by India's private space industry is the result of the landmark decision taken by our Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi in 2020 to open our space industry to private sector".

The global space industry is estimated to be worth $440 billion and is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley. Such growth will present massive opportunities for organisations across the world.

According to the Indian government statistics, India's share in the global space industry is less than three per cent. But according to a joint report by Ernst & Young (EY) and ISpA, the Indian space economy is expected to reach $12.8466 billion by 2025.

The launch of the first Private Launch Vehicle from Skyroot this year has made significant strides in the growth of the private space industry.

-Rising Indian space startups like Pixxel launched the third hyperspectral satellite ‘Anand’ for Earth observation applications following the launch of ‘Shakuntala’ earlier this year.

Dhruva Space, a space firm aimed at developing full-stack space engineering solutions, successfully validated its Satellite Orbital Deployer during the PSLV C53 mission and subsequently launched two nanosatellites for amateur communications in PSLV C54 using the P-dot satellite platform.

Digantara, an aerospace company based out in Bengaluru, Karnataka, built the world’s first commercial space weather sensor Agnikul Cosmos under the aegis of IN-SPACe established India’s first private space vehicle launchpad at Sriharikota.

He said that these "strides by the startups and young entrepreneurs will encourage technology development in space for defence applications through 75 Defence Space Challenges", also known as Mission DefSpace which was launched by PM Modi during DefEXPO 2022.

Edited by Ragul Senthil

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