Indian start-ups in the space sector operate in various segments such as launchers, satellites, propulsion systems, ground services, etc. In mid-2020, the Indian government opened the space sector to private companies and start-ups and allowed them to operate from the end to end. As of December 2022, there are 111 start-ups registered in the government-run IN-SPACe (India’s National Center for Space Promotion and Authorization).
According to the Indian Space Association (ISpA), Indian start-ups have raised over $245.35 million in funding. In addition to this, GalaxEye Space, SpaceTech’s Earth observation start-up, announced on Thursday that it had successfully raised $3.5 million in funding. The new funding will help accelerate the launch of the so-called world’s first multi-sensor earth observation satellite. According to the company, their technology will enable the production of extremely high-resolution images via a small constellation of satellites that, when fully operational, will provide global coverage in less than 12 hours.
In order to further boost the space sector, the Government of India is also expected to come forward with a space policy in 2023. “The new ‘Indian Space Policy’, followed by the Space Activity Act, will be a complete game changer with upstream and downstream activities and will help formulate a vision to improve the investment climate in the private space sector The Production Incentive Program (PLI) for satellite production, similar to mobile phones and telecommunications equipment, will further strengthen the private space ecosystem and help encourage new start-ups to emerge,” said Lieutenant General of the Home Army Bhatt (retired), CEO of ISpA.
Outlining the highlights of India’s 2022 space sector, ISpA mentioned the award of a Rs.860cr contract to L&T-HAL conglomerate to build 5 PSLV rockets, OneWeb’s pact with ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) to launch a LEO satellite from India , the first private rocket launch from India, etc.
In the satellite sector, significant progress has been made by start-ups, including the launch of a third hyperspectral satellite by “Pixxel” and “Dhruva Space”, successfully validating the Orbital Deployer satellite during the PSLV C53 mission. Dhruva Space also launched two nanosatellites for amateur communications at PSLV C54, Digantara built the world’s first commercial space weather sensor, and Agnikul Cosmos set up India’s first private space vehicle launch pad at Sriharikota.
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