CHENNAI: In a big boost to India’s space programme, the Centre has increased the financial outlay for the Department of Space (DoS) to Rs 11,177.46 crore. This apart, the government also announced forming of New Space India Limited (NSIL), a public sector enterprise incorporated as a new commercial arm of DoS to commercialise various space products developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), including production of launch vehicles, transfer of technologies and marketing of space products.
This comes days before the historic launch of Chandrayaan-2 mission on July 15. If successful, India will become the fourth nation to soft-land on surface of the moon and cementing its place among the world’s space-faring nations. This is for the first time ISRO’s budget has breached Rs 11,000 cr mark. In 2017-18, the actual allocation was Rs 8,053 crore, while in 2018-19 the revised estimate stood at Rs 9,918 crore.
As per the financial outlay for individual departments, funds for Department of Space are allocated under three heads i.e. space technology, space applications and INSAT satellite system. Totally, Rs 8,407.59 crore has been allocated for space technology, Rs 1,885.45 crore for space applications and Rs 884.42 crore for INSAT satellite systems.
Under space technology, ISRO is provided funds for launching three earth observation spacecraft, four PSLV and three GSLV Mk-III rockets with carrying capacity of four-tonne class of communication satellites. These missions will carry niche ocean cloud monitor, sea surface temperature sensor and continuation of microwave imaging in C-band. The space agency will also be designing and developing applications for earth observation, communications, disaster management generating 9,500 maps.
ISRO chairman K Sivan had earlier said the organisation had planned 32 missions, including the “most complex” Chandrayaan-2. “The year 2019 promises to be much more challenging to the ISRO community with 32 planned missions (14 launch vehicles, 17 satellites and 1 Tech demo missions),” Sivan had said in a New Year message. Recently, ISRO had unveiled the Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru.