In recent years, ISRO has emerged as the front runner for global space agencies to collaborate to understand earth better. Analyze the challenges and steps needed for India to emerge as a global hub for space activities in this context. Can the commercial ventures make ISRO free of government support?

Published: December 10, 2017

In recent years, ISRO has emerged as the front runner for global space agencies to collaborate to understand earth better. For example,

  • ISRO and JAPAN’s JAXA planned to bringing samples from the moon back to earth through a joint mission to the moon that includes landing a rover. The mission will be the first to attempt to bring samples of the moon back to the earth after four decades.
  • ISRO has built a South Asian satellite that provides connectivity to neighbouring countries in the region.
  • ISRO and NASA are jointly working an imaging satellite that will look at natural resources mapping and monitoring, and estimating agricultural biomass over full duration of crop cycle.

These all shows that ISRO has emerged as the front runner for global space agencies. It also help ISRO to gain commercially.
Encouraging some of the private firms to work with ISRO. Recently, ISRO has floated a tender inviting private firms to bid and build 30 satellites, nearly half of its requirement over the next five years.
Commercial ventures:
Though ISRO’s space ventures are cost effective yet sometimes it faces criticism for spending money on a space programmes when it has problems like poverty and hunger to tackle. Commercial ventures make ISRO free of government support. Commercial ventures will help ISRO to manage all its operations through its own resources. In 2015-16, commercial launches brought in Rs230 crore, which was 4% of ISRO’s average spending over the previous three years. Privatizing the operation of the rocket would free up ISRO to focus on more cutting-edge missions. Apart from this it also helps to earn revenue and make ISRO as less dependent on budget.

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