HYDERABAD: As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) looks forward to encourage private partnership in the space sector through the draft Space Activities Bill, 2017, former ISRO Chairman, Dr K Radhakrishnan, speaking in Hyderabad on Saturday that ISRO is looking forward to private players building satellites and launchers and that India is “at a defining moment in bringing more players into the space domain”.
Delivering the Dr M Chenna Reddy memorial lecture, Dr Radhakrishnan said that small and large industries have always been part of the space research in India and in fact 125 firms participated in building space and ground systems used by ISRO. However, now ISRO is looking towards enhancing the level of activity in space industry in India and to get satellites or launchers manufactured by private players.
He also said that although startups are coming up in the space activities domain in India, mainly due to interest in building satellites by engineering colleges, we are just in beginning of the race when compared to other countries who have good space programmes. Comparing various portfolios of space activities, Dr Radhakrishnan said that India is considered leads the way in the areas of space applications, space observation and space astronomy, when compared to US, Russia and China. However, when it comes to human space flight, India has much catching up to do. He said that US, Russia and China are in a major way in human space flight, especially China.
He said that while their space shuttle programmes are closed as such, US and Russia are working towards habitation of planet Mars. India has done a little work in human space flight domain, like developing a crew module in record-time but still lot of work has to be done. Dr Radhakrishnan also said that India is at the forefront when it comes to carrying carrying of rocket with 4.5 tonnes that can be extended to 6.5 tonnes but when it comes to the maximum number of launches in a year, Russia leads all countries.
He also pointed out that there is a need for communication satellites to be built in India which can operate on higher frequencies and can handle high power. Present Indian communication satellites operate in the Ku and Ka bands and can handle power up to 6KW.