New Delhi: Activity in the still nascent domestic space sector is expected to accelerate this year and through the end of FY25, said India’s National Center for Space Clearance and Promotion (In-Space), the clearance agency. of nodal space missions in the country. Thursday. A press release projected a total of 30 space launches from Indian soil (the largest to date) by March 2025.
The central space agency, the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), is still expected to account for the majority of launches, with nine research-oriented missions and seven launches towards India’s manned space mission, Gaganyaan, scheduled by the end of FY25. However, Isro’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), which is expected to become the main contributor to the space mission in the future, is scheduled to conduct only a solitary launch before from the end of next month.
New Space India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Isro, is scheduled to undertake seven commercial missions for paying customers by the end of FY25. Until 2023, NSIL’s commercial missions included five launches and one demonstration launch of the tan publicized SSLV.
Meanwhile, the private sector is scheduled to conduct six launches by March 2025. Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace and Bengaluru-based Agnikul Cosmos will conduct four and two suborbital launches, respectively. Skyroot has so far been the only private space startup to launch from domestic soil, with its Vikram sounding rocket launching from Sriharikota in November 2022.
The projected launch schedule reflects India’s efforts to expand its space sector beyond research missions. In its 10-year vision from October last year, In-Space projected that space sector revenue would grow to $44 billion by 2033 and account for 8% of global space revenue, up from a meager 2% by the end of 2022. A large part of this revenue will be driven by NSIL’s ability to win commercial deals and the scale-up of modular rockets like the SSLV.
In March last year, Mint reported that NSIL could consider expanding the SSLV to launch up to 10 commercial missions per year by the end of 2026. The small launcher is expected to offer on-demand satellite launch services, a service increasingly critical for global satellite communications and analysis services.
India’s space economy is also expected to be boosted by private companies like Digantara and Dhruva Space, which are set to capture growing segments of global satellite and space services around the world. The key to proliferating India’s space economy is boosting exports of space services, which stood at a minuscule $300 million by the end of 2023. Over the next decade, export revenue is projected to rise to $11 billion. of dollars.
The United States remains the consistent leader in space services, and companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper are key stakeholders. Others, such as France’s Arianespace, are key players in the space economy, of which Indian entities are seeking to capture a larger share.
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