India is shaping up to become a bigger player in the modern race for space – which is all about satellites and their various uses.
In the past ten years, an increasing number of foreign satellites
have been propelled from Indian rocket launch sites. September 16 saw the latest launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh. An Indian-built rocket carried two commercial satellites for British company Surrey Satellite Technologies into space, which will provide services like forest mapping, ice cover mapping or disaster monitoring.
Topping the list for the most launches from India
are US firms, which have sent 143 satellites into orbit between 2008 and 2018. Companies from Canada, the UK, Germany and Singapore
are also among the most regular customers, even though they did not launch nearly as many satellites in the same time frame. Part of the reason for this is the increased launching of US micro satellites during 2017. For example, an Indian rocket carried 88 American satellites into space on February 15, 2017, which weighed only 4.7 kilograms each. These small satellites are able to provide very detailed Earth imagery.
The massive launch also contributed to 2017 being the year with the most satellites launched from India up to date. With demand for satellites growing and more industries ready to move into space, The Indian Space Organization is already looking to partner with private players to expand its launch capacity.