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India's Liberalisation In The Space Sector Becomes Big Hit As 22 Indian and 4 Global Firms Send Proposals

koolzberg

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The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), the newly created space regulatory body, has received at least 26 proposals from Indian and foreign firms within months of government opening up the space sector, reports Times of India.

The proposals range from approval for ground stations, setting up satellite constellations to making and launching satellites, launch vehicles and providing applications.

US-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Bharti Group backed UK-based OneWeb are among the foreign firms that have shown interest in the space sector.

UAE's Archeron Group and Norway's Kongsberg Satellite Service (KSAT) have also sent their proposals to the IN-SPACe.

While AWS has sought permission for "enabling private space business by making available gateway ground stations as a service”, the OneWeb has requested to set up a small satellite constellation and provide services.

Meanwhile, the Archeron Group wants assistance for the launching of small satellites and KSAT wants to set up ground stations.

Among the 24 Indian proposals, Tata’s NELCO has sought support for technology demonstration of Low-Earth Orbit network services, while L&T wants to “undertake end-to-end role in the small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV).”

Besides, many startups including Astrome Technologies, Pixxel, Dhruva Space from Bengaluru, Agnikul Cosmos from Chennai and Skyroot Aerospace from Hyderabad have sought permissions for satellite production, space-based applications, development and launching of launch vehicles.

Delhi-based MapmyIndia has requested approval for providing services while Bengaluru-based Alpha Design has sought technology for small satellites.

Besides firms, several institutions including Mangaluru's Srinivas Institute of Technology UnitySat, IIT-B, IIT-M and SpaceKidz India have also made proposals with the IN-SPACe.

“The fact that so many Indian firms, both big companies like L&T and Bharti Group and startups are progressing well is encouraging and in line with our PM’s vision. Interest from foreign firms like Amazon will also help India become a global space hub,” said K Sivan, secretary, Department of Space (DoS).

 

jamahir

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In the last decade a few private launch companies have started up in many places in the world I think due to two reasons : Governments seeing the success of SpaceX and the effect of the now-defunct Google Lunar X Prize.

India has three private companies that are developing launch rockets and are building in-space propulsion systems : Skyroot Aerospace, Agnikul Cosmos and Bellatrix Aerospace. The in-atmosphere stages of the different types of these launchers use different types of fuel : LOX + Methane, LOX + Kerosense, Solid. These launch companies offer small payload capacities, from 100 kg to 720 kg, of course to different altitudes.

Bellatrix is experimenting with a variety of in-space electric propulsion methods and propellants for satellites including expelling water vapor using microwave. And the company is researching the Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster ( MPDT ) which I think is similar to the long-in-development VASIMR engine being developed by the American company Ad Astra Rocket Company.

I am sure all the three Indian companies I mentioned have plans for developing human launch / transport vehicles in the near future.

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jamahir

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According to this page of SkyRoot website it will be only in the Vikram-2 rocket that a cryogenic Liquid Methane + Liquid Oxygen engine will be used at the upper stage.

I suppose the company's testing of this solid-fuel engine will be to gain experience with avionics and flight control but also to mainly gain customers who want launch providers for small satellites ( Vikram 1 can take up to 315 kg to 500 kms LEO ). The company will use the income to later research and build the liquid-fuel rockets.

But my opinion is that SkyRoot should have looked at SpaceX's model which built a liquid-fuel engine for its very first rocket - Falcon 1. Given SkyRoot having benefit of former ISRO scientists and engineers and given the cheaper cost of human and material resources in India ( compared to SpaceX ) SkyRoot could have comfortably tested liquid engines right now. SkyRoot should have been more ambitious.
 

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