India created history on 15th February, 2017 by successfully launching 104 satellites on a single mission, overtaking the previous record of 37 satellites launched by Russia in the year 2014. Its this feat earned the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) numerous mentions in international newspapers and media, with several hailing India as a major player in the multi-billion dollar space market.
While Indians were still basking in the glory of ISRO’s magnificent achievement, ISRO’s chairman A S Kiran Kumar has given the citizens another reason to smile. In a recent statement given by Kumar, he said that India is capable of developing a space station of its own, but it needs ambitious planning and a long-term approach to achieve the same.
Speaking at the foundation day ceremony of Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore, Kumar said, “We have all the capabilities to set up a space station. The day the country takes the decision, we will ‘ok’ the project. Just draw a policy and provide us necessary funds and time.”
According to him, since there’s still a lot of talk and uncertainty about the immediate benefits of a manned space mission, that’s why India hasn’t be able to make up its mind about investing in a space station yet.
Stressing on the phrase “the sooner the better,” Kumar also added that even though the country is capable of setting up a space station , it still requires a long-term thinking for making this possible.
ISRO is currently also contemplating partnering with the industry in order to enhance India’s satellite launching capability. According to Kumar, India is still in need of more satellites to keep a tab on the land and weather conditions and enhance communication network.
Kumar also added that even though the number of companies manufacturing small satellites has significantly increased across the world, but a lot of these companies are incapable of launching them. Hence, this area holds immense commercial potential and India could tap into it by enhancing the launch facilities.
Over the period of last two decades, India has emerged as a key player in the lucrative commercial space market offering a low-cost alternative. In fact, ISRO is now extending its benefits to Indian entrepreneurs as well. We recently reported that ISRO has given Indian entrepreneurs an opportunity to utilise ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre’s (NRSC) 17 million GB of geo-spatial data collected through a series of its earth-mapping satellites in order to launch app-based startups and make millions by providing consultative services to their respective users.