Space alliances could aid India’s strategic pursuits
The Indian Space Association’s launch follows 2020’s move to open up this sector to private enterprise. These reforms are welcome. So, too, are American overtures on space cooperation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s launch of an Indian Space Association (ISpA) was part of the Centre’s follow-up of reforms begun last May to give this rarefied sector the ballast of private enterprise. This industry body can serve as a platform to bring public space agencies and private players together to work on making the most of India’s potential. Shortly after the government said in 2020 that it would lift its monopoly in some spheres and let our private sector participate directly in a range of space activities from rocket launches to satellite operations for commercial services, it set up the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre, a nodal agency for our fledgling industry that could well act as its licence-issuing regulator. While our state-run spacefarer Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) has had private suppliers, its laboratories and launch pads have excited the interest of tech startups keen to leverage its facilities to spread their wings into the far yonder. ISpA should assure them a voice.