The Sky is NOT the Limit! Discover How India’s Space Program is Reaching Beyond Stars.
Did you know that the journey to Mars takes about seven months and covers a distance of about 300 million miles (480 million kilometres)?
It’s hard to imagine the kind of technology and resources needed to accomplish such a feat! You might assume that only the wealthiest countries could afford to launch a spacecraft to the red planet, with a budget running into trillions of dollars or more.
But here’s something that might surprise you – a country managed to complete this mission on a budget less than the cost of an average Hollywood movie! And that country is none other than India.
In 2014, India achieved this remarkable feat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi proudly declared that the country had reached Mars at just Rs 10 per km, which is even cheaper than an average auto-rickshaw ride in India.
Indeed, back then, India’s space sector had reached the stars. But what has happened today is something beyond the stars.
Let’s find out more about it.
India is gearing up to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX with its state-owned company, NewSpace India Ltd. And it’s not just talking – NewSpace India Ltd has already made waves by launching 36 communications satellites for UK-based company OneWeb Ltd. This move signals India’s ambitions in the space sector and demonstrates the country’s growing reputation as a reliable player in the field.
While Russia and China have been the leading providers of satellite launches for many years, the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and tensions between China and the US have left many countries looking for new options. That’s where India came into the picture with its growing ties with the US, Australia, and Japan for its reputation for providing affordable launches. India is quickly becoming a popular choice for satellite operators worldwide.
India Has a Long Way to Catch Up to China’s Lead
India’s NewSpace project is fast-tracking to its rival SpaceX but faces a big hurdle in catching up to China. According to the Times of India report, the Center for Strategic and International Studies reveals that China has a remarkable 13.6% share of all earth-orbiting satellites, compared to India’s modest 2.3%. In 2021, China executed a whopping 64 launches, including by private firms, dwarfing India’s successes in the same period.
India must rapidly enhance its launch technology and capabilities to match China’s space program.
India’s space aspirations are gaining momentum, with the NewSpace project gaining momentum. Despite a long road ahead to compete with China, the Indian government has taken proactive measures to open the space sector to private players. And the response has been remarkable, with close to 40 proposals from private players for various activities, according to Economic Times. Furthermore, ISRO’s partnership with NASA to co-develop the world’s most expensive earth imaging satellite is a major milestone in India’s space journey.
The future seems bright for India’s space program, and the world can only watch as India continues to reach for the stars.