News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

India to boost space assets to meet demand

ISRO is building heavier rockets and dedicated satellites for communications and television broadcasting, remote sensing and navigation applications.

Mysore: India is boot-strapping its space-based assets to meet the growing demand for enhanced services in communications, broadcasting remote-sensing and navigation, a top space agency official said Monday.

"To meet the rising demand for multiple space-based services spanning communication, navigation and earth observation, we are enhancing our capacity in terms of rockets, satellites and ground-based systems," state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan said at a space summit here.

Unveiling the country`s ambitious projects and missions at a round-table meeting on "Space Vision 2020 and Beyond", Radhakrishnan said for optimal utilisation of space resources cost-effectively, ISRO was building heavier rockets and dedicated satellites for communications and television broadcasting, remote sensing and navigation applications.

"We are doubling our rocket launches soon to deploy as many heavier communication and earth-observation satellites for meeting the growing demand of service providers, state-run organisations and security agencies," Radhakrishnan told about 2,000 delegates participating in the 39th Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (Cospar 2012) being held here.

Being held for the first time in the city of palaces, about 150 km from Bangalore, the summit is focusing on challenges the global space community faces in terms of budgetary resources, human capital, technologies and safety.

Radhakrishnan also called in for international synergy in space missions.

"In this context, I call for international synergy in space missions to reduce the cost of access to space resources and in exploring the inter-planetary system through collaboration and partnership," he told heads and top officials of six other space agencies worldwide.

"As space missions have become cost prohibitive and require enormous human and technology resources, collaborating and partnering will be a win-win for all stakeholders," Radhakrishnan said on the inaugural day of Cospar 2012.

Noting that low-cost access to space was the way for future missions due to budgetary constraints and other limitations, the rocket scientist said safety and security of space-based assets were equally important for sharing the benefits of their applications to improve the quality of life on earth and to fulfil the quest of humankind in knowing the universe.

"Though the hallmark of the Indian space programme is based on the vision of its founding fathers, which is people-centric with emphasis on self-reliance in space technologies, sustaining and enriching it (vision) are our endeavour," he added.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) director M.S. Allen from the US, Centre National d`Etudes Spatiales (CNES) deputy director Richard Bonneville from France, German Space Research and Technology Centre executive H. Dittus, Canadian Space Agency director-general D. Kendall, Italian Space Agency president E. Saggese, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) research director Masato Nakamura and Brazilian Space Agency chairman Thyrso Villela spoke at the two-hour-long session.