These Astropreneurs Are Disrupting a Relatively Untapped Sector in India, to Provide Not Just Better and Cheaper Access to Space and Spaceflight Technologies, but Solve Common Problems by Using Space-tech Applications.
India is a recognized global space pioneer, with successful missions by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) like the Mangalyaan, Chandrayaan and several PSLV flights. Ironically though, there is no extensive commercial exploitation of private space infrastructure, largely due to lack of deregulation and privatization, despite the country possessing a niche talent pool in the sector. Although the global space industry is as big as $300 billion, India’s share in it is close to just a billion. To bridge this gap and explore newer horizons, a new breed of entrepreneurs has turned their passion for space into reality by setting up ventures within the very challenging model of local space industry in India. Amongst them is Susmita Mohanty, known as India’s space lady in the international space community, who started the country’s first private space start-up Earth2Orbit way back in 2010.
Growing up in a space related environment, as her father worked with ISRO, she developed a fascination for the orbital sciences but eventually wanted to build a venture that would break the traditional mould of how the space domain is viewed in India. Her company facilitates international satellite launches on the PSLV with clients like Osaka Institute of Technology in Japan and Google Terra Bella in USA along with creating geointelligence data products.
“India has just about begun its commercial space journey, which is currently dominated by countries such as the US France and Russia. We need to overhaul our space policy to allow private players to compete in the international space marketplace. If we make the right moves, we can go out and capture at least a quarter of this market in the coming decade or two,” she says.
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