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Current Affairs

Indian Space Association

Date: 12 October 2021 Tags: Space

Issue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Indian Space Association (ISpA) to represent the various stakeholders of Indian space sector.

 

Background

The current members include Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bharti Airtel, OneWeb, L&T, Tata Group’s Nelco, MapMyIndia among others.

 

Details

  • India’s progress in space sector has been noteworthy but majority of contribution lies with ISRO. Private participation has been nil.

  • In recent years, the boost to private space sector has been growing owing to space based communication in future.

 

Space communication (satellite internet)

  • Companies such as Starlink (SpaceX), OneWeb (Bharti Airtel), Project Kuiper (Amazon), Hughes Communication etc have been increasing their presence.

  • OneWeb is planning to offer its high-speed, low latency connectivity services in India and the rest of the world. It will soon start its services for Arctic region.

 

Satellite internet

  • Satellite internets will play a major role in providing broadband connectivity to remote regions of the world where terrestrial networks have not reached.

  • Satellite communications in India is used limitedly by corporates and institutions for emergency use and trans-continental communications.

  • Currently, India has only about 3 lakh active satellite communication users in comparison to 45 lakh in the US and 21 lakh in the European Union.

 

 

Significance

  • Many global and domestic private sector companies have taken interest in India’s space domain.

  • A body representing space interests could boost the relationship between government and private companies in expansion of India’s space sector.

 

Concerns

  • Communication satellites by private companies are expected to hinder astronomical observations.

  • They could acts as trigger in starting Kessler’s syndrome in space. They could fail and fall on to the Earth.