Two space start-ups authorised, marks beginning of private space sector launches in India

IN-SPACe is an autonomous, single window nodal agency; formed to promote, authorise, monitor and supervise the space activities of Non-Governmental Private Entities (NGPEs) in India.

private space sector
The payloads would fly onboard PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) of PSLV-C53 scheduled to be launched on June 30. (Representational image: IE)

The Indian Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) has started authorising Indian private firms, marking the beginning of private space sector launches in India. IN-SPACe is an autonomous, single window nodal agency; formed to promote, authorise, monitor and supervise the space activities of Non-Governmental Private Entities (NGPEs) in India.

Dhruva Space Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad and Digantara research & technologies Pvt. Ltd. Bengaluru, were authorised by IN-SPACe on June 24 to launch their payloads. Dhruva Space’s Dhruva Space Satellite Orbital Deployer – (DSOD 1U), a technology demonstration payload, and Digantara’s ROBust Integrating Proton Fluence Meter (ROBI), a Proton dosimeter payload, were authorised, an IN-SPACe statement said on Monday.

The payloads would fly onboard PSLV Orbital Experimental Module (POEM) of PSLV-C53 scheduled to be launched on June 30.”The first two launch Authorisations issued by IN-SPACe is an important milestone and marks the beginning of private space sector launches in India,” said IN-SPACe Chairman Pawan Kumar Goenka.Dhruva Space is a space technology start-up focused on building full-stack space engineering solutions, involved in building application-agnostic satellite platforms.

Digantara research and technologies is engaged in development of end-to-end solutions focused on safe and sustainable space operations through its Space Situational Awareness sensor network, platform and data products. PSLV-C53 is the 55th mission of ISRO’s scheduled to be launched on June 30 at 18:00 hours IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

According to Goenka, Digantara will launch a weather satellite which will be used for weather monitoring from space using their patented technology. Dhruva Space, he said, will test its Satellite deployer technology which in future can be deployed for international customers.”This is just the start of the exciting times ahead for the Indian space sector. IN-SPACe is delighted to facilitate (the) private sector’s participation in this journey,” Goenka added.

Dhruva Space CEO, Sanjay Nekkanti the PSLV C53 mission is a key milestone in the journey of his start-up.”The mission will demonstrate the in-house developed CubeSat Deployers ahead of the launch of our Satellite Missions, Thybolt-1 and Thybolt-2, onboard the PSLV C54 Mission. This will also enable Dhruva Space to support international clients with CubeSat Deployers, Integration and Launch Services,” he said.

“To realise Digantara’s goal of delivering accurate orbital insights to ensure continued safe space operations, support from the government will play a key role in accelerating innovations. This launch serves as an excellent illustration of how such support hastens innovation,” CEO and Co-founder Digantara, Anirudha N Sharma said.

Meanwhile, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO, has organised a three-day training course on ‘Bhuvan’ portal utilisation. Bhuvan is a Geoportal platform of ISRO. It hosts a wide-range of services spanning visualisation of satellite data, thematic maps, query and analysis, free data downloads and products, near real-time disaster services, Apps for crowdsourcing, and diverse geospatial applications. It also supports the ministries with G-Governance applications.

“The training is free, webinar-based, and scheduled for July 12-14, 2022. It targets to benefit undergraduate and postgraduate students, professionals in government organisations, start-ups, private firms etc,” an ISRO statement said.

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