India is working to come with a technological & regulatory framework. The Department of Space has released the draft National Space Transportation Policy. Private players eager to leverage national facilities and the new policy trying to manifest to unlock the potential in the space sector.
Space transportation systems, consists of multiple classes of launch vehicles, provide assured and reliable access to space for making space infrastructure that allows the country to explore opportunities to tackle challenges, not only for the country’s needs but also for participation and exploration in global opportunities.
In addition to sustaining & augmenting the national space infrastructure consisting and containing of earth observation satellites, communication satellites, navigational satellites and satellites for space science & exploration, Indian space transportation systems also enable and multiply the commercial exploitation of growing opportunities for launch services as well as human spaceflight to near earth orbit & robotic space exploration.
The recent reforms made by the Government of the country towards unlocking the potential of the space sector in the country are expected to attract and ask the entrepreneurs to invest in cost-effective & quick turn-around space transportation systems added with the important global commercial launch services market being projected for small satellites.
The Indian space transportation sector is watching the emergence and commencement of new players in the private sector who in order to unlock the commercial potential of small satellite launch services, are eager to leverage the national facilities already established by the Government of India.
Sustaining independent access to space and the continuous evolution of space transportation capabilities towards human as well as robotic space exploration along with the commercial exploitation of world level opportunities require a robust national space transportation policy aimed at promoting, progressing & fostering national capabilities in the development of end-to-end space transportation systems and strengthening of Public Private Partnerships.
National Space Transportation Policy 2020:
The National Space Transportation Policy authorizes independent and reliable access to space towards tapping space technology in the interest of national development, security & sovereignty and also to instigate an environment for Indian bodies to develop capabilities in the space transportation body and thereby gain a significant position in the global space economy.
Promote and enhance an environment within the country for Indian bodies to enhance the capability & capacity in-space transportation systems of the country.
Enable the commercial exertion of the launch capacity and space transportation technologies made by the Department through its commercial arm.
Focus on advanced research & technology development concerning improving access to space and helping human/robotic space exploration.
Engage in interchangeably beneficial partnerships with international space agencies/technology providers towards the joint or co-development of advanced space transportation capabilities.
Need for the policy:
Sustaining independent engagement to space and the continuous evolution of space transportation capabilities towards human and robotic space exploration aligned with the commercial exploitation of global opportunities need a robust national space transportation systems policy.
The increasing number of startups in the country in recent years, who are looking for to develop independent space launch systems to apprehend the global launch services market, require a easy technological & regulatory pathway in the country so that the private environment can prosper in the area while also bringing in innovative and adaptive technologies including its spin-offs benefiting the country’s economy.
Considering the increasing number of private enterprises in the country who are involved in space activities including launch vehicle development and in order to promote research & development and strengthen the capabilities and potential of Indian entities to capture a significant and important share of the space economy, it is necessary to make available and facilitate the relevant technologies developed by the Department along with the test facilities & installations including the launch sites through a suitable concurrence mechanism.
It is important to ensure that the independent launch activities and trials were undertaken by Indian entities are in accordance with applicable treaties & other international agreements due to the impact of such activities on public safety, domestic & global transport, logistics, and in-orbit satellites. Therefore, a legalization mechanism needs to be in place to ensure compliance to the relevant regulations and safety requirements.
While promoting space industry in the country, sustaining launch capabilities for societal needs & national requirements and necessities is to be ensured.