In-Space is in line with Isro’s vision: Sivan | India News

BENGALURU: As the Indian space programme looks to enter a new era, not only accommodating private players — which it always has — but also prioritising their participation, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which has so far held a monopoly is also undergoing some changes.
In an interview to Chethan Kumar, Isro chairman K Sivan speaks about IN-SPACE (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre), a new board that will be created to boost private players, the space agency’s immediate focus and more.
The Cabinet has cleared the setting up of IN-SPACE, your first thoughts?
We are happy to have this new Board as it is something that we’ve been wanting for a while. IN-SPACE is in line with Isro’s vision and will help formalise a more open partnership with private players. There will be no distinction between big firms or start-ups, all will be welcome.
What would the structure of this Board be, and what can private players expect?
As you are aware, Isro has always encouraged private players for decades, we have allowed them access not only in satellite assembly, but also in launch vehicle development. However, so far, they operated as vendors with Isro and did not have key responsibilities. In the future, they will be allowed to operate independently in the sector and have access to India’s assets in space, and on the ground. So far as the structure of the Board and other details go, I will be holding a briefing tomorrow.
Private players have been complaining that they are denied access to space frequencies or tracking facilities, will that change now?
The policy now is to encourage private players as much as possible and yes, a lot of things would change that will be appreciated by everybody. I would like to reiterate that the department of space will be pushing private players, but I cannot spell out the details at this juncture.
What is the status of Gaganyaan, Aditya, Chandrayaan-3, SPADEX, and other big missions?
Activities are going on. Because of lockdown, we’ve not achieved full-fledged functioning, given that there are more than 500 industries that work with us across the country and there have been restrictions on movement of people, equipment and so on. I will need some time to reassess before I can get into the specifics and give any dates for any of these missions. But you must know that work has not stopped.

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