- The updated Space Policy has drawn measured optimism from India’s budding private sector start-up space.
The space policy
- The Indian Space Policy-2023 creates four distinct, but related entities, that will facilitate greater private sector participation in activities that have usually been the traditional domain of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (InSPACe) will be a “single window” clearance and authorisation agency for space launches, establishing launch pads, buying and selling satellites, and disseminating high-resolution data among other things.
- It will also develop space industry standards, promote identified space activities and work with academia to widen the space ecosystem and enable industry-academia linkages.
- ISRO will focus on research into outer space.
- This will mean developing new space technologies and applications to maintain India’s edge in the areas of space infrastructure, space transportation, space applications, capacity building and human spaceflight.
- It will also share technologies, products, processes and best practices with NGEs (non-government entities and this will include private companies) and government companies.
New Space India Limited
- A third entity, New Space India Limited (NSIL), that has already executed a few commercial space launches – and the replacement for ISRO’s beleaguered Antrix – will be responsible for commercialising space technologies and platforms created through public expenditure, as well as, manufacture, lease, or procure space components, technologies, platforms and other assets from private or public sector.
Department of Space
- Finally, the Department of Space will provide overall policy guidelines and be the “nodal” department for implementing space technologies and, among other things, coordinate international cooperation and coordination in the area of global space governance and programmes in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs.
- It will also create “an appropriate mechanism” to resolve disputes arising out of space activity.
- Private sector participation has been highlighted as one of the main draws of the new policy
- The clear demarcation of roles among various entities, meant sowing the seeds for a burgeoning private sector space industry.
- In enabling open satellite data access, satellite images with a ground sample distance (GSD) greater than five metres (a satellite image where two adjacent pixels represent points five metres apart on the ground) would be freely available, the new policy states.