An app-store analogy to ISRO’s capabilities

Moore’s law in semiconductors drove the consumer electronics revolution and today the likes of Apple and Google have been able to create two-sided platforms that allow independent development of applications by anyone using their platforms. We have witnessed the growth of smartphone-based applications with the opening of their platforms to independent developers and giving them a foundation to scale the types of the range of services that people need. There are over 4 million apps today available in Apple Appstore and Google Play Store. Could we have witnessed such a diverse range of uses of the smartphone-based services with if Apple and Google only allowed its own apps in their respective platforms?Click here to read the complete article

Space 2.0 India – Creating a $10 billion space economy that supports 100,000 high-skilled jobs

Investing in space is one of those things that India got right in incubating technologies that can help us leapfrog to solving complex social problems. Fast forward 60 years from the birth of the space activities, we have established technologies to put systems together and launch satellites and deliver services. Despite all the capability, we in India captures less than 0.1% of the global space market today.

For the lack of a vision, I present my own on how do we go from where are today to possibly creating a $10 billion pie that supports 100,000 high-skilled jobs directly and indirectly by 2030?… Click here to read the complete article

Podcasts for space enthusiasts

If you are a space enthusiast and you want to learn more about the current developments in space science and industry, fasten your seat belts.

Full disclaimer

Podcasts can be a great way of catching up but do not trust them to give you a 360 deg view of the topic they discuss. It’s always important to go back to learn several opinions and check facts before you make up your own or share debatable thoughts with others.

The U.S being one of the leaders in not just investing into space activities, but also having a very well-oiled outreach community for space activities, leaves a mark on the list here.… Click here to read the complete article

India Needs to See Space Is Not Just About Engineering and Strategy

India flies some of the cheapest satellites in the world but pays the highest price for bandwidth to provide services. This was the claim of an official of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). This person blamed turf wars between the DoT and the Department of Space (DoS), both government bodies.

The bulk of space-based services in India is consumed by the government itself. If such barriers to deliver space services exist between government players, then imagine the plight of folks from the industry looking to venture into the space services arena.

Today, India’s share of the global $400 billion space market may be less than 0.01%.… Click here to read the complete article

India Doesn’t Have an Independent Voice at International Space Fora – That’s Bad

The foundation for international space law was laid in the 1960s, with the Outer Space Treaty. Cold War contests between the US and the USSR brought down the cost of access to space opening the door to new actors and leading to booming commercial activity.

From an operational standpoint, the UN Outer Space Affairs Office (UNOOSA) coordinates with the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPOUS). The latter has multiple subcommittees that hear several key issues that pose a risk to the use of outer space as a global commons. Their deliberations result either in new resolutions being added to the Outer Space Treaty or in the formulation of new treaties at the UN General Assembly.… Click here to read the complete article

An Open Letter to ISRO Chief K. Sivan on Promoting STEM Education in India

K. Sivan
Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation

As the premier research establishment in the country, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has done a great job of creating technological capacity in an area as critical as space. ISRO’s rockets, missions to the Moon and Mars and applications tailored to cater to the problems of humans and society are all laudable.

Today, there is a growing inequality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in India. In the 21st century, we need our children to learn certain skills and design-based learning to spur curiosity and innovation. There is also a conspicuous issue of lack of resources to invest in building teaching capacity and creating experiment-based hands-on learning environments at the grassroots level, and this affects the quality of graduates in India.… Click here to read the complete article

Time for India to Consider a Special Track for Space Startup Incubation

Believe it or not, today, there are over a thousand startups focusing on space around the world. Yet we only see a handful of startups emerge out of India even though we live in one of the only emerging global powers that has the ability to build, launch, operate and use satellites and rockets. With a network of possibly 500 small-and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) supporting India’s space activities, the country’s share of these space startups is less than 1%.

The most notable startups in India today include TeamIndus (aiming to land a rover on the Moon as part of the Google Lunar XPrize), Astrome Technologies (developing satellite-based broadband) and Bellatrix Aerospace (developing thrusters with a vision to eventually develop their own launch vehicle).… Click here to read the complete article

The Future of India’s Commercial Spaceflight Is Closely Tied to the PSLV’s

India’s vehicle of choice for getting to space for the last two decades has undoubtedly been the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Barring a recent, and arguably minor, failure during its C39 mission (the payload fairings did not deploy), the PSLV has an enviable record of flying 39 successful missions in 24 years.

Given a recent and increasing demand for launches to low-Earth orbit (LEO) – from within the country as well as from foreign satellite-makers, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has taken a proactive step to produce the PSLV at an industrial scale.

Additionally, as a buildup to some interesting demands by the small-satellites community, among others, the PSLV team has demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to switch orbits within a single mission by reactivating its fourth stage motor.… Click here to read the complete article

India’s draft Space Activities Bill if ignored may kill its private industry aspirations

India has been performing space activities for over 50 years now. Led by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), we have acquired the ability to build satellites, launch vehicles, ground control to serve the people of India with space-based services. Space is acting as an enabler today to provide several services such Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcasting, VSAT for bank ATM machines, weather services, disaster management (search and rescue), navigation services, imagery based Geographical Information Systems (GIS) products among others.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a national meet of top officials of different Ministries and State Governments on use of space applications in daily governance that included 1500 delegates mainly being Secretaries of Central Ministries/ Departments.Click here to read the complete article