Above the Fold: The Indian Interest in Space

We have heard a lot of success stories of India in Space in the last 15 years. The Indian Space Program has achieved a lot. Let us explore why this is an important point of discussion for India and the World.

  • Aaradhya
  • Sun Aug 13 2023 6 mins read



    After hearing the word Space the very first question arises: Why Space? What's the need? After Using almost all means and ways of transport which are Air, Land, on the water and in fact Underwater, why does the need of space arise? Also it is not the case where we have used these means in a nature friendly way, we have heavily polluted all of them. But still nations and their citizens are trying to expand their physical reach. We will try to understand this term, its need in the modern world, the Indian and the Global point of view towards Space and SpaceTech, and the future scope of this sector.

    About Space and Space Technology:

    SpaceTech refers to the use of Scientific knowledge, engineering and technology to explore and utilize space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and to harness the benefits from space and all about exploring space, improving our lives on Earth and advancing our understanding of the universe.

    Here are some common applications of Space Technology:

    • Communication
    • Weather forecasting and Earth Observation
    • Navigation
    • Defense and National Security
    • Space exploration and Research


    If we deep dive into the Global space race and its history we will be able to find the answer of ‘why?’. So it all began after world war 2 with the victory of the allied powers mainly Britain, France, United States of America and Soviet Union. Along with this two major powers came into existence that were the USA and USSR and thus the beginning of the cold war, in which both of them were competing with each other and one aspect of it was the space race. Both the powers were trying to expand their reach in space, there can be many reasons for why one country will launch satellites into the cosmos but one main factor was surveillance and national security. Both the USA and USSR got their initial space technology by capturing the Nazi Scientists like Wernher von Braun, Ernst Stuhlinger and hence catalyzed their respective space programs. Similarly Britain and other European nations and China got started with the help of United States’ and Soviet Union’s support on their sides respectively. So far many nations have started their own space program and India was one among them. On August 15th 1969 the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was created from scratch on its own and currently is one of the best space agencies in the world. Till now we have achieved a lot and we are looking for a better future in Space Technology.

    Current Scenario and Changing India:

    Now if we came so far in history, the question arises what now? It all started with the Communist-Capitalist competition but what actually is happening now? So the current scenario is completely different, the sector is commercialized and now not only the nations and governments but also the private individuals are entering into the market. ISRO is one of the most cost effective space organizations to conduct missions and satellite launches, but private players in India have only been involved in the missions as helpers for ISRO and they were not allowed to conduct the missions on their own till 2020. But in June 2020 the Indian Government decided to open the space industries and market for the private players as well and now they can conduct their own missions and launches and in fact they can even seek ISRO's help for the same. Because of that now there is new sector of SpaceTech Startups in India, where actually private individuals have taken the responsibilities to help big companies set up their satellite in earth’s orbit by providing them much more benefits, flexibilities and options in the market, at the same time it helps them to reduce their dependence on ISRO, and thus even ISRO can focus more on its future mission which includes Mangalyaan-2, Gaganyaan and Shukrayaan (Mission for exploring the outer atmosphere and surface of Venus). ISRO has already launched a 3D virtual Space park named SPARK, you can check it here. This will make the citizens aware and excited about the cause and potentials of space exploration.

    Investments and Future scope of Space Startups in India:

    From the past India had achieved a lot in Space and now on its way to become the next Space Super Power after the US, Russia and China. Indian Government have taken some Initiatives like Space Remote Sensing Policy of India - 2020 and Space communication Policy - 2020 both of these policies aims India to become Self Sufficient or ‘Atmanirbhar’ in Space by reducing the restrictions on entering the sector, due to these action there is significant rise in interest of private individuals for this sector and hence he number of new startups in space tech every year from 2020, from the past years the investments in the Indian Space Startups has almost been doubled and also a significant increase in Foreign Investments.


    Overall, it seems that the government is taking this sector seriously and feels that they will eventually increase the space budget as well in the upcoming years. The space sector in India is just in its starting phase but it seems to have a bright future ahead. However, the national competition is increasing with the increasing number of startups in Space Technology but the international competition has its unique story.

    International Competition and Position In the World:

    NASA being the dominator of the sector is currently leading the sector followed by Russian ROSCOSMOS, Chinese CNSA, Indian ISRO, SpaceX and Europe’s ESA. Coming to the Indian point of view, ISRO is right now heading towards becoming the next Space Super Power but not particularly focusing on it. Currently since NASA, SpaceX and ESA is being busy to provide the space facilities to the overall western world, Russia and China being engaged in tough situations like war and depression and also a lack of trust among several nations, India after completely recovering from Covid pandemic and opening the space sector for private individuals is moving very rapidly to provide space facilities to the Eastern World and those who can’t afford the western services being the most cost effective agencies in the world and a trusted option for many. With improving technology, cheap prices and with the help of Other prominent sectors like IT Sector, Indian startups can actually take control of the Global market in their hands.


    The space race is still going on, and the potential of space and space exploration is far more than it seems for a nation. The one who leads the space race will eventually lead the world, space is one way that leads to futuristic technology. There’s a lot to talk about like the negative effects of harnessing space, the defense point of view of a nation, but for now it is just the beginning. With the amazing Quote by Former Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

    India will try to push its limit furthermore in space for the betterment of its citizens.

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