The Greater Indian Space Ecosystem – The super power of the future

India has been a proud Space-faring nation for over five decades, thanks to the great visionary Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. From launching little sounding rockets from the shores of Thumba, we have been growing leaps and bounds through Chandrayaan, Mangalyaan and now Gaganyaan, proving sky is no limit to our aspirations.

However, with all this expertise, infrastructure, political support, and public’s adulation, our share is surprisingly low in the commercial space market and we hardly have an ecosystem of homegrown OEM’s and system architects. In other words, we are just at the tipping point for a greater future. So, what could make us tip? How to scale up unprecedentedly faster? Can we be the next Super power?

Need for Greater Space Ecosystem:

Dynamics in the international space sector has changed (for better) with the advent of many new private companies entering this space. They are building up on the already available infrastructure and expertise to meet their commercial and exploratory goals. That’s a welcome change being recognized by the governments who are utilizing this ecosystem as a catalyst to their nationalistic dreams. Ecosystems built by NASA has proven to be long term winner and seen in success in the likes of SpaceX and others. China, US, & Europe strategically fund the companies and share assets for a greater good of the nation. China’s aim to be the space superpower is evident with a record 39 launches in 2018, surpassing the usually unbeatable US. Today a private company launching satellites from midland China from a government launch pad is a reality. hiIt is right time there comes our own ecosystem built up on existing technology & manufacturing expertise built in the country over several decades. Having seen both sides of the coin I can say without doubt, constructive sharing of space assets, risk and technology expertise and together working as one community meeting each other’s goals is the genesis of a new space superpower.

Skyroot’s Vision for Indian Space:

In my view, space is a sector with clear achievable objectives for the decades to come like more launches, rapid re-usability to enable satellite constellations and human space travel. To me the biggest barrier to all space activities is ‘speed’ or rapid developmental cycles. At Skyroot, that is exactly what we are building a culture around –rapid development of complex aerospace systems with lean use of resources. We are building the first private Indian launch vehicle to put a satellite in orbit and marching ahead to compete for a reasonable share in the international small satellite launch market which is estimated to be $16Bn in the next decade. Completing seven months of advanced development, we are building an ecosystem of quick development of aerospace systems in speeds never imagined before. The idea of Skyroot was born from the need of having an internationally competent company with the capability of complementing ISRO’s capacity to meet our nations Space aspirations. In this process, we are taking baby steps into our eventual goal of pushing the boundaries of spaceflight to uplift our civilization out into the cosmos.


From Pawan Kumar Chandana, Co-founder & CEO, Skyroot Aerospace

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