Reinventing India’s Space Expo

India set a trend in exhibiting its space prowess to the international community by kicking off Asia’s only focused exhibition on Space Technologies, Products and Innovations in the form of the Bangalore Space Expo in 2008.

This year, the fifth edition of the Space Expo is scheduled from 1-3 September 2016 at BIEC, Bengaluru, India, will be showcasing the latest technological advancements, related products, and technical services while providing a platform for space agencies, specialists, entrepreneurs and space industry heavyweights to display their visions.

The last edition, Space Expo BSX 2014 – held in Bengaluru, witnessed encouraging participation from the Space Industry from around the globe.… Click here to read the complete article

ISRO/Antrix-Devas arbitration fiasco explained

It may seem strange that when a government cancels a potentially scandalous contract in order to restrict possible losses to the exchequer, it still ends up paying.

And yet, this exactly what is happening with the continuing fallout of the controversial Antrix-Devas deal. As of Tuesday, two international arbitration mechanisms have ruled against the Indian government over the way it cancelled a contract between Antrix Corporation (ISRO’s commercial arm) and telecommunications firm Devas Multimedia.

The first arbitration outcome – which was conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce – resulted in the Indian government receiving a fine of nearly Rs. 4,500 crore ($672 million) for unilaterally terminating the contract with Devas.… Click here to read the complete article

Why won’t there be a SpaceX in India, unless…

Many of us dream of becoming astronauts who reach out for the stars when we are young despite India not having a human space programme. As we grow up, we start to live up to the expectations of our society and make our ends meet by not chasing such wild dreams rather shaping our talent to contribute to the upcoming opportunities by taking jobs in the government or the private sector or by being academics. There are some who achieve their dreams of working in the space sector and join ISRO as scientists and engineers.

However, there are some who continue on to dream about reaching for the stars much like the way they dreamt in their childhood and take risks in chasing it.… Click here to read the complete article

ISRO’s Reusable Launch Vehicle: What Happened and What Next?

India doesn’t have a reusable launch vehicle (RLV) yet. What it has is a prototype technology-demonstrator (TD) that Indian Space Research Organisation will use to test its various components, then use their takeaways to build better prototypes. This will go on till about 2030, which is when the organisation expects to have a working vehicle – more than 30 metres long and with an engine of its own. And why does it take so long? Building a reusable launcher is no mean feat, added to which is that ISRO has to make do with its (relatively) tiny budget. The first test, called the hypersonic experiment 1 (HEX1), was conducted on May 23.… Click here to read the complete article

Exploring the Promise of NAVIC

The last week April saw India launching its seventh navigation satellite IRNSS-1G completing its regional navigation satellite system Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). On this occasion of India being one among world’s five countries which have its own GPS system and navigation system, PM Modi praising the achievement christened the service as ‘NAVIC’ for ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’.

Unlike GPS, GLONASS or BeiDou, INRSS is a regional navigation system with a footprint that extends about 1500 km from India’s landmass. IRNSS is an interesting constellation design of seven satellites with three geostationary satellites (GEOs) (with longitude crossings at 32.5° E, 83° E, and 131.5° E) and four geosynchronous satellites (GSOs) with an inclination of 29 degrees (two each at 55° E and 111.75° E longitude crossings).… Click here to read the complete article

Space as a Tool in Indian Foreign Policy & Diplomacy

Technological capabilities in outer space have long been used as an effective tool of foreign policy. Some of the prominent examples being U.S using its LandSat satellites to give away data; the Russians flew our own Cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma. We in India have established a long-standing space programme with a history of over 50 years of space exploration. However, have we put to use our capabilities to use as a tool of foreign policy as effectively as other countries?

To recall some of such prominent exchanges, India has some of the best remote sensing satellites in the world and we have provisioned downlink capabilities for these remote sensing satellites for a number of countries.… Click here to read the complete article

India’s NewSpace Entrepreneurs Series: Neha Satak interviewed by Susmita Mohanty

In this edition of India’s NewSpace Entrepreneurs Series: Neha Satak, the Co-founder, CEO of Astrome Technologies is interviewed by Susmita Mohanty. Astrome Technologies, an Indian space technology company is leveraging on cutting edge satellite technology to provide high speed, location free internet. By doing this, Astrome is not just providing an innovative, high tech, solution to a practical problem – it is also opening the doors for a potential transformation in the lives of people who were so far denied access to the latest in technology. Astrome’s first set of satellites are scheduled to take off in 2018.

Perspectives on Creating a Space Industry Ecosystem in India

The space sector can be divided into upstream and downstream. The former comprises manufacturing of satellites, parts, subsystems, launch vehicles while the latter provisions services based on satellites, such as satellite TV, imagery, communications etc. The existing value chain is currently run by government entities, and participation of the commercial space industry is mostly limited to the supply of parts, components- and subsystems-manufacturing or using the space infrastructure created by the government to provide services.

In the present model of engaging the local space industry in India, there is no extensive commercial exploitation of space infrastructure due to lack of deregulation and privatisation.… Click here to read the complete article

Astrome Technologies – Providing Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere.

Startup ecosystem powered by Internet access is transforming our lives in many different ways. We go to the internet to buy, sell, procure services, do financial transaction, get information and most importantly to communicate to each other. But, the rural India, which accounts for more than 68% of India’s population, is out of sync with this changing face of commerce, communication, lifestyle and education. Astrome Technologies, an Indian space technology company is leveraging on cutting edge satellite technology to provide high speed, location free internet. By doing this, Astrome is not just providing an innovative, high tech, solution to a practical problem – it is also opening the doors for a potential transformation in the lives of people who were so far denied access to the latest in technology.Click here to read the complete article

Will ISRO participate in the International Space Station?

For a while now there has been some speculation of possible Indian participation in the International Space Station. This may be an excellent method for space agencies such as NASA and ESA to reach out to ISRO. But, does this hold water? Will this be a primarily foreign policy drive from the West to India or is this to add a more prominent space faring country to the ISS to add another source of funding?

Let us assess the merit of Indian participation in the International Space Station.

While ISRO’s vision is to ‘Harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration’, the cost involved in the human space exploration is 10X the satellite/robotic missions.… Click here to read the complete article