Unlocking India’s Potential in Space Sector

As Approved by the Union Cabinet on 24 June 2020

The Indian Space programme is characterized by a vision to use space technology for national development. The primary objective of the space programme is to establish operational space services in a self-reliant manner in the thrust areas of satellite communication, satellite-based resource survey/management, satellite navigation, satellite meteorological applications and other emerging areas and to carry out sustained research and development in these areas.

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Kleos Space Placement and Strategic Integrator Partner Signed

Kleos Scouting Mission (Credit: Kleos Space)
  • Placement of 10,000,000 CDIs1 at for a total €1.8 million raise
  • An Integrator and Channel Partner Agreement with Red Group Technologies Inc. (RGT) for their advanced analytics product suite

LUXEMBOURG, 10 July 2020 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data provider, has received commitments from entities controlled by Janet Cameron to raise €1.8 million via the issue of 10,000,000 new ordinary fully paid CDIs.

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Kleos Space to Launch Development Technology in Early July

Kleos Scouting Mission (Credit: Kleos Space)

LUXEMBOURG, 26 June 2020 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX : KSS, Francfort : KS1), the Luxembourg RF Earth Observation Company, is launching new data collecting technology (software defined radio payload) integrated in an In-Space Missions (In-Space) Faraday-1 spacecraft to be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit from New Zealand by Rocket Lab in a weeks’ time as part of the Company’s R&D programme.

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ISRO Outlines Plans to Commercialize Space Sector

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — Opening up of the space sector is part of the larger vision of transforming India to become self-reliant through a set of socio-economic reforms. The reforms in the space sector are aimed at tapping the potential of entire country for unlocking its potential by enabling private enterprises and start-ups to undertake end-to-end space activities.

In addition, the reforms are also aimed at mitigating the large and upfront investments required to set up facilities for undertaking space activities through sharing of such existing facilities under ISRO.

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ISRO Announces Reforms to Allow Private Sector to Commercialize Space Activities

Dr. K Sivan, ISRO Chairman and Secretary of the Department of Space, announced that India is privatizing its space industry.

A key reform is the creation of an autonomous Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre within the Department of Space that will oversee permitting and regulating private space companies. There will be board composed of government, industry and academic representatives.

ISRO will also

  • provide access to agency facilities to private companies;
  • modify its satellite and space navigation policies;
  • commercialize such activities as launches and communications; and,
  • transition from a supply driven to a demand driven model for space services.

ISRO will focus on science missions, human spaceflight and other activities.

ISRO, ARIES Sign MOU on Space Situational Awareness, Astrophysics Cooperation

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Bengaluru and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital for cooperation in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Astrophysics was signed by Shri.R. Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO and Prof. (Dr.) Dipankar Banerjee, Director, ARIES through video at ISRO Headquarters and ARIES Headquarters on 4th June 2020. 

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India Opens Up Space-Run Space Sector to Commercial Companies

India plans to open up its state-run space sector to private companies. The Times of India reports:

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced the entry of the private sector in the country’s future inter-planetary and outer space explorations and allowed private companies to access the facilities and services of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

Whil announcing structural reforms for the eight crucial sectors, the FM said, “India has the benefit of an extraordinary space institution such as Isro, which brought the nation a lot of laurels. However, today the private sector is also doing a lot of work in the space arena. A lot of individuals and startups have spent a lot of time developing space-related technologies. Unfortunately, because of Indian regulations, they are unable to use Isro facilities for even testing their products. To provide a level-playing field in satellite launches and space-based services, we will make a provision for the private sector to benefit from the assets which are available to Isro and for India (in general) to benefit from it.”

Sithharaman said, “We will also provide a predictable policy and regulatory environment for private players. We want them to be co-travellers with us. Therefore, the private sector is being encouraged.

In another big development, the FM announced that “future projects like planetary explorations and outer spce travel (like future Chandrayaan, Venus and Aditya missions) will be opened for the private sector. So, the private sector is being given a good access to the so arena so the industry and Isro can work together for a better ‘Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat’.”

The government is also working on a new policy for geospatial data to encourage private-sector companies.

Indian Pilots Resume Astronaut Training in Russia

Indian astronaut in training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

STAR CITY, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

All four Indian cosmonauts undergoing training in Russia are in good health and feel fine. The health of Indian cosmonauts is carefully protected: GCTC continues to observe anti-epidemic regulations according to which sanitary and hygienic measures are carried out at all the GCTC facilities, social distancing measures are applied and the presence of unauthorized persons is restricted; all employees and cosmonauts must wear medical masks and gloves.

This week, the GCTC specialists are giving theoretical classes on the basics of astrogation, the basics of manned spacecraft control and the Russian language to the Indian cosmonauts.

The contract for the training of Indian cosmonauts between Glavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019.

Their training in Russia started on February 10, 2020. Since the end of this March, due to the global pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, a lockdown was recommended for the Indian cosmonauts which they carefully observed.

Kleos Space Awarded Contract on Micro-Satellite Military Utility Project

Kleos Scouting Mission (Credit: Kleos Space)

LUXEMBOURG, 19 May 2020 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered RF reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, has been awarded a contract to prepare Kleos data to be accessed by the Micro-Satellite Military Utility (MSMU Project) Project Arrangement (PA) which is an agreement under the Responsive Space Capabilities Memorandum of Understanding involving the Departments and Ministries of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom and United States.

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NASA-ISRO SAR Satellite Moving Forward Toward Launch

NASA ISRO synthetic aperture radar satellite (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

An U.S.-Indian synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite is that rarest of NASA’s projects: it is currently on schedule and under budget.

Whether it stays that way depends upon what happens between now and its planned launch aboard an Indian booster in September 2022.

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ISRO Issues Call for Human Spaceflight Technology Development

Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

Development of Technologies for Sustained Indian Human Space Program and Space Exploration

ISRO’s Human Space Program will endeavour to send humans to destinations from low earth orbits and beyond. Human Space Mission requires innovations and creative technologies for space explorations which will lead to widening of scientific knowledge, economic growth, value addition to the quality of life of a common man and thus national development. There is need to build capabilities to derive scientific benefits from ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Program.

There is also a need to establish long term research as well as plan for necessary facilities, human resource developments for optimal utilisations of experimental applications and technological developments for societal usage.

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CNES Directors Give Approval to Trishna, Space Inspire Programs

PARIS LES HALLES, France (CNES PR) — On Thursday, 12 March, CNES’s Board of Directors convened for its 362nd session at the agency’s Head Office in Paris Les Halles, giving the go-ahead to engage France in the development of the French-Indian Trishna programme and to pursue activities for the new Space Inspire series of flexible satellites, as well as development of equipment for the spacecraft bus and shared payload.

Trishna is a mission to deliver thermal-infrared imagery of Earth’s surface at high spatial and temporal resolution. Its observations will help to gain fresh insights into the water cycle and improve management of the planet’s water resources, at a time when the local impacts of climate change are being felt increasingly around the globe.

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Indian Astronaut Candidates Start Training in Russia

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — This Monday Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) has started the planned training program of Indian candidates for a spaceflight under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

After thorough selection, the four Indian Air Force fighter pilots became the ISRO candidates for the spaceflight.

The 12-month training program includes comprehensive and biomedical training of the Indian candidates, which will be combined with regular physical practices. In addition, they will study in detail the systems of the Soyuz manned spaceship, as well as they will be trained in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the special Il-76MDK aircraft.

The Indian pilots will also be trained to act correctly in case of abnormal landing of the manned spaceship descent module in various climate and geographic zones. The most part of the training will take place at the GCTC facilities.

The contract for training of the Indian candidates for a spaceflight between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019. The document implies the support of Glavkosmos in selection of candidates, their medical examination, and various aspects of space training.

Exolaunch Is Awarded a PSLV Launch Contract for Spire’s Satellites

Exolaunch will support the deployment of Spire’s Lemur-class 3U cubesats on the Indian PSLV early this year.

Singapore (Exolaunch PR) — Germany’s Exolaunch, the leading launch services and separation system provider for small satellites, confirmed that it will arrange a milestone cubesat launch to send four of Spire’s cubesats into low-inclination orbit on the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in early 2020.

With this launch, Spire Global – a data analytics company with the world’s largest constellation of satellites for weather, maritime and aircraft data tracking – aims to diversify its satellite orbits. The mission will also serve as the springboard for an exciting new collaboration between Exolaunch and Indian launch services provider, New Space India Limited (NSIL) – the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). 

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India Developing New Spaceport for Small Payloads

IANS reports that ISRO has begun buying up land to build a second spaceport to accommodate small satellite launches. ISRO Chairman K. Sivan revealed the plans in a press conference on Wednesday.

“The Tamil Nadu government has begun acquiring about 2,300 acres of land in Thoothukudi district for our second satellite launch port, ideally located for launching smaller satellites in the earth”s lower orbit,” the Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman told reporters here.

“The new location is ideal for launching smaller satellites of less than 500kg in the sun-synchronous orbit,” said Sivan.

India launches it satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota. The PSLV, GSLV Mk. II and GSLV Mk. III boosters are launched from the spaceport.

ISRO is developing a new booster, rather creatively called the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (or SSLV), to serve that market. Currently, small satellites are launched as secondary payloads or as part of dedicated missions aboard India’s existing boosters.