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Sky is the limit for private space sector in Isro's new policy

The policy sets a road map for Isro to transition from manufacturing operational space systems to focus energies on R&D in advanced technologies



Shine Jacob Chennai

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday came out with the Indian Space Policy 2023 to promote greater private sector participation in the entire value chain of the space economy.

According to the policy, Isro will encourage new-generation entities to participate in space exploration and human presence in outer space, including collaboration with domestic and international stakeholders.

The policy also sets a road map for Isro to transition from manufacturing operational space systems to focus energies on research and development in advanced technologies.

The government’s major focus point is to create a stable and predictable regulatory framework to provide a level playing field to non-government entities in the space sector through IN-SPACe, an organisation that acts as a medium between Isro and the private space sector in India.

Regarding the private sector participation, the policy said Indian consumers of space technology or services (such as communication, remote sensing, data-services, launch-services, etc), whether from public or private sectors, will be allowed to directly procure them from any source, whether private or public.

“This policy provides the much-needed clarity on all space activities, especially regarding space communication and other applications. It will be a catalyst for development of a robust, innovative and globally competitive space ecosystem in India,” said A K Bhatt, director general, Indian Space Association.

The policy states that new-generation entities will be allowed to undertake end-to-end activities in the sector through establishment and operation of space objects, ground-based assets and related services, such as communication, remote sensing, and navigation.

Through IN-SPACe, new-generation entities will be encouraged to offer national and international space-based communication services, through self-owned or procured or leased GSO/NGSO communication satellites.

According to the plan, Isro may enable open data access from remote sensing satellites. Data with a ground sample distance of five meters and higher will be made easily accessible on a timely basis.

The policy also made the public sector undertaking NewSpace India responsible for commercialising space technologies and platforms created through public expenditure. It will also look into aspects like manufacture, lease, or procure space components, technologies, platforms and other assets from the private or public sector, on sound commercial principles.

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First Published: Apr 20 2023 | 9:42 PM IST

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