ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar today said the country is “significantly” short of capacity in space and there is a need to double the number of satellites.
“We are still significantly short of capacity in space, probably we need at least double the number of satellites of what we have today to give a reasonable level of service to the country,” he said.
What this also meant was that the nation needs to enhance the ability to launch and also build satellites at a much faster pace than being done at present, Kumar said after inaugurating the Bangalore Space Expo-2016 (BSX-2016) here.
Pointing out that today ISRO was able to push through one launch a month, he said it has to increase at least one and one-and-half to two times in the immediate future “if we have to provide effective solutions to the country, its government and monitoring requirements.”
Kumar said, “We have set in process, we still have a long way to go because today we are not able to increase our launch frequency because the supply chain that exists today is still inadequate to meet our demand.”
Recalling ISRO’s journey so far, he said almost 138 missions had been completed with 74 satellites of the international community being launched along with India’s primary satellites.
“We have a constellation of about 34 satellites with earth observation, communication, navigation and also space science being provided by space infrastructure that has been put in place,” he said.
Noting that it has to be ensured that capabilities built are actually put to practical use, the ISRO chief said the current central and state governments are now realising that space technology and space technology-based tools have a very significant role in delivering good and efficient governance.
“We are seeing a spurt in activities at the government level, which is demanding greater and greater services to be provided,” Kumar said.
He said in the last three and three-and-half decades, ISRO’s efforts to engage with government agencies to make use of space technology and space technology-based tools had been a slow process.
ISRO was today piratically working with 60 central government departments and all state governments to enable them plan and monitor activities better, he said, adding that this happened because the governments are realising the potential of geospatial technology, communication, crowd sourcing and earth observation capabilities.
Delegates from 12 countries are attending the fifth edition of the biennial Bangalore Space Expo, organised by ISRO, its commercial arm Antrix and CII till September 3.