India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has announced ambitious plans to expand the country’s space activities, including sending its first astronaut to the moon by 2040 and establishing a native space station by 2035.
Chandrayaan-3 Lunar Mission
- Following the success of the Chandrayaan-3 lunar probe, India is gearing up for lunar exploration.
Delay in Space Station Plans
- Originally, India aimed to have its own space station by 2022, but technical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays.
Roadmap for Moon Exploration
- India is developing a roadmap for moon exploration, which includes building a next-generation launch vehicle, constructing a new launch pad, and creating human-centric laboratories and associated technologies.
- The Gaganyaan mission, expected in 2025, plans to launch three crew members into orbit for three days.
Private Sector Participation
- India’s space sector opened up to private companies in 2020, leading to the growth of over 150 space tech startups and increased foreign investments.
Space Policy and Clarity on Investments
- India introduced a space policy to guide collaboration between public and private entities but is seeking clarity on foreign direct investments.
- Modi encourages Indian scientists to undertake interplanetary missions, including a Venus Orbiter Mission and a Mars Lander.
- India signed NASA’s Artemis Accords for space exploration, and NASA will provide advanced training to Indian astronauts and send them to the International Space Station in 2024.
Low-Earth Orbit Observatory
- ISRO and NASA plan to launch a low-Earth orbit observatory in 2024 to map the Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level, and natural disasters.