Space Startups Attracted Over INR 1,000 Crore Pvt Investments Since April
India's space sector startups have attracted private investments exceeding INR 1,000 crore since April in the current financial year, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh, adding that the country's space economy currently stands at USD 8 billion, with projections indicating a manifold increase to USD 100 billion by 2040.
Singh also highlighted the rise in the number of space startups, from single digits to over 1,180 in just about four years. “These startups, empowered by the reforms, are contributing significantly to India's space advancements,” he said. “ISRO has so far launched more than 430 foreign satellites, earning more than 290 million Euros from European satellites and over USD 170 million by launching American satellites,” he added.
The Minister emphasized the cost-effectiveness of India's space missions, citing the example of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which cost around INR 600 crore compared to the unsuccessful INR 16,000 crore Russian moon mission. He underscored India's abundant cerebral resources and skills, surpassing material and financial resources.
Outcomes of Public-Private Participation
“Even though the USA and the then Soviet Union had started their Space journey long before us and America also landed a human being on the surface of the Moon in 1969, it was nevertheless our Chandrayaan that brought home the evidence of water on the surface of the Moon,” he said.
He said that India has a rapidly rising number of Space Startups since Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated reforms and opened the sector to public-private-participation (PPP).
“India's space technology is permeating various sectors, including disaster management, infrastructure development, agriculture, water mapping, telemedicine, and robotic surgery. The transformative role of women in leading space projects, signaling a positive shift in India's space program,” the Minister added.
Future Space Missions
Singh outlined ISRO's future plans, including the first unmanned ‘Gaganyaan’ mission undergoing preliminary tests. He mentioned a test flight next year featuring 'Vyommitra’, a female robot astronaut, before the manned Gaganyaan mission. Additionally, he discussed the Deep Sea Mission project, revealing that the MATSYA vehicle would explore deep-sea resources like minerals at depths of 5,000-6,000 meters within the next three years.
As India progresses in both outer space and deep-sea exploration, Singh emphasized the coincidence of an Indian traveling to outer space while another explores the deep sea, highlighting the country's multifaceted advancements in scientific endeavors.