32.9 C
Delhi
Saturday, May 15, 2021

Indian spacetech startups take baby steps befor big leap

- Advertisement -

Budget 2019: New Space India Limited will tap benefits of ISROBy Nishant Arora (IANS) Hoping that the country would soon become a manufacturing hub of space assets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in December last year that the decision to unlock India’s potential in the space sector has heralded a new age of public-private partnership.

Inspired by these words, the spacetech startups in India have kicked off the journey to take a big leap in the near future.

The government opened up the space sector in June last year and created the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) that is working as a link between the ISRO and private companies who wants to participate in space-related activities or use India’s space resources.

While homegrown private earth imaging company Pixxel has closed $7.3 million (nearly Rs 53 crore) seed round and is working on two satellites to send to space this year, the Department of Space (DoS) has signed a pact with Chennai-based small rocket company Agnikul Cosmos to access the facilities and technical expertise available at the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) centres.

According to Awais Ahmed, Founder and CEO, Pixxel, with the radical liberalisation of space reforms, the government is providing growing impetus to spacetech startups like Pixxel.

“Pixxel’s rich satellite imagery will help tackle multiple issues across sectors like agriculture, environment, natural disasters, urban monitoring etc. that the government itself will be a beneficiary of. In addition to the high-quality imagery our satellite will provide, we are also building a platform for customers to analyse this data for various purposes, enabling them to become self-reliant,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur told IANS.

READ ALSO:  With 82 moons, Saturn has become the new moon king

The Bengaluru-based startup plans to deploy a total of 30 satellites by December 2022 for its global constellation.

“The main focus for now is to get the entire constellation up there. Once it is fully deployed, it will enhance the capacity and resources of the space sector and ensure the benefits of space are brought down to earth for everyone in the country,” Ahmed noted.

Founded in 2019 by Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal, while studying at the Birla Institiute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pixxel was the only Asian participant selected to be a part of the ‘Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator’, where it worked with NASA JPL, US Air Force, Lockheed Martin and Maxar, among others.

As VC funds now warming up to the Indian spacetech startups, Agnikul raised over $4 million last year while Pune-based Vesta Space Technology has also raised $10 million from US-based Next Capital LLC.

READ ALSO:  Budget proposals for start-ups to boost ‘ease of doing business’

Agnikul Cosmos is now looking at overseas rocket ports to launch its rocket with small satellites apart from the Indian rocket launch centers.

“Our first preference is to use Indian rocket ports at Sriharikota or the upcoming one at Kulasekarapattinam in Tamil Nadu (both belonging to the Indian Space Research Organisation). If the customer prefers the launch to happen from some other country, we will ship the rocket and launch from there,” Srinath Ravichandran, co-founder and CEO, Agnikul Cosmos, told IANS recently.

The company is hopeful for the debut launch of its rocket ‘Agnibaan’ next year which is capable of taking up to 100 kgs payload to orbit around 700 kms high.

READ ALSO:  India to get dedicated infra lender, Cabinet clears proposal

According to ISRO chief K Sivan, the market size of the global space sector is about $350 billion, and India shares less than three per cent of the market. He had emphasised that if the ISRO continues to remain the sole player in the space sector, the India market share will not improve.

Sensing the opportunity, global tech giants have come forward to help India chart its new space journey.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the Cloud arm of Amazon, aims to help the country transform its space sector and tap into the multi-billion-dollar market.

“We’ll be listening to ISRO and our partners in India in terms of what we can provide them but from everything we know, they need humongous data storage and to make sense of huge space datasets, they need edge computing and have to work on their virtual mission operations just like NASA is doing,” Teresa Carlson, Vice President for Public Sector and Regulated Industries, AWS, told IANS.

The government is also working on a new launch vehicle policy and a space exploration policy while the existing Satellite Communication Policy and Remote Sensing Data Policy are being amended to make it more transparent.

The time is now ripe for the corporate giants like AWS to step in and provide tailor-made solutions to transform the spacetech startup ecosystem in the country.

(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])

Source: IANS

India Updates
India Updates is an independent news & Information website. Follow us for regular updates on News and Information.

Follow Us On

READ ALSO:  Can India fully vaccinate 25 cr people by July?

Related News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Topics In India

Covid 19 India Updates

Trending News In India

Trending Showbiz

Trending Sports

Latest Trending News In India