Union Minister Jitendra Singh announced a pivotal development in India’s space endeavors: the approval and public release of the Indian Space Policy 2023. This strategic policy marks a significant step towards fostering an inclusive and dynamic space ecosystem by welcoming the active participation of non-government entities (NGEs) throughout the entire value chain of the space economy. A primary focus of the policy is to clearly define the roles of key stakeholders, including IN-SPACe, ISRO, NSIL, and DOS.
The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) stands at the heart of this policy, serving as a centralized agency that streamlines the promotion and authorization of space activities. This single-window approach not only expedites regulatory processes but also encourages greater involvement of diverse players in the space sector.
To empower and facilitate the policy’s execution, the government has allocated budget provisions for IN-SPACe: ₹10 crore for 2021-22, ₹33 crore for 2022-23, and ₹95 crore for 2023-24. These allocations underscore the government’s commitment to nurturing an environment conducive to innovation and collaboration within the space industry.
Turning the spotlight to another transformative project, Singh highlighted the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory – India (LIGO-India) initiative. The government has granted approval for this ambitious project, which is estimated to cost around ₹2600 crore. Spearheaded by the Department of Atomic Energy, LIGO-India aims to harness gravitational wave detection capabilities for research in the realm of astronomy. Once operational, LIGO-India will serve as a national facility, significantly advancing the scientific understanding of gravitational waves and their impact on the cosmos.
Providing insights into India’s lunar exploration endeavors, Minister Singh offered updates on the Chandrayaan-3 mission. The spacecraft was successfully launched onboard LVM-3 on July 14, 2023, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR. As of now, the spacecraft occupies a translunar orbit, with plans for the Lunar-Orbit Insertion (LOI) scheduled for August 5. The Chandrayaan-3 mission stands as a testament to India’s persistent pursuit of space exploration, contributing to the broader scientific and technological knowledge base.
The Indian Space Policy 2023 serves as a blueprint for inclusivity, innovation, and collaboration in the space sector. With the establishment of IN-SPACe and provisions for NGE participation, India is poised to unlock new frontiers in space technology and exploration. Additionally, the strides made in the LIGO-India project and Chandrayaan-3 mission underscore the nation’s determination to excel in the domain of space science and exploration, pushing boundaries and expanding our understanding of the universe.