The Indian Space Association (ISpA) was formally launched by Prime Minister as an industry body representing the various stakeholders in the Indian space domain with members comprising the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bharti Airtel, OneWeb, Tata Group’s Nelco, L&T, MapMyIndia among others.
About Indian Space Association (ISpA)
- ISpA is the Premier Industry Association of Space and Satellite companies, which aspires to be the collective voice of the Indian Space industry.
- It will undertake policy advocacy and engage with all stakeholders in the Indian Space domain, including the Government and its agencies.
- ISpA will help in making India self-reliant, technologically advanced and a leading player in the space arena.
- ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in space and satellite technologies.
Why is this significant?
- While India has made progress in the space sector over the years, ISRO has primarily been at the centre of this progress.
- Along the lines of the US, now several private sector companies both global and domestic have taken interest in India’s space domain, with space-based communication networks coming to the fore.
How are space-based communications network growing?
- Several Indian and international companies have bet on satellite communications as the next frontier to provide internet connectivity at the retail level.
- This includes SpaceX’s StarLink, Sunil Bharti Mittal’s OneWeb, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, US satellite maker Hughes Communications, etc.
- OneWeb, for example, is building its initial constellation of 648 low-earth orbit satellites and has already put 322 satellites into orbit.
Why is satellite internet important?
- Industry experts suggest that satellite internet will be essential for broadband inclusion in remote areas and sparsely populated locations where terrestrial networks have not reached.
- As of now, however, satellite communications remains limited to use by corporates and institutions that use it for emergency use, critical trans-continental communications and for connecting to remote areas with no connectivity.
As of August this year, India had only 3 lakh satellite communications customers, compared with 45 lakh in the US and 21 lakh in the European Union.
Back to basics
New Space India Limited (NSIL)
- NSIL incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013 is a wholly owned Government of India company, under the administrative control of Department of Space (DOS).
- NSIL is the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with the primary responsibility of enabling Indian industries to take up high technology space related activities and is also responsible for promotion and commercial exploitation of the products and services emanating from the Indian space programme.
- NSIL differs from ISRO’s existing commercial arm Antrix Corporation:
- Antrix will handle ISRO’s commercial deals for satellites and launch vehicles with foreign customers.
- NSIL will deal with capacity building of local industry for space manufacturing.
- To satisfy the needs of its customers, NSIL draws upon the proven heritage of the Indian Space Program and ISRO’s vast experience in diverse branches of Space Technology.
- After successful fulfilment of its first deal for launch of a commercial satellite on February 28, 2021 – the Brazilian Amazonia-1 satellite on board ISRO’s PSLV rocket – NSIL will have four more commercial launches over the next two years.
- The major business areas of NSIL include:
- Production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) through industry;
- Production and marketing of space-based services, including launch services and space-based applications like transponder leasing, remote sensing and mission support services;
- Building of Satellites (both Communication and Earth Observation) as per user requirements.
- Transfer of technology developed by ISRO centres/ units and constituent institutions of Dept. of Space;
- Marketing spin off technologies and products/ services emanating out of ISRO activities
- Consultancy services
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