Modi offers India's cost-effective technology but only to 'friendly' nations
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ready to share India's space technology with the rest of the world — but only with 'friendly countries'.
- India is known for its pocket friendly missions like its most recent mission to the moon — Chandrayaan 2.
- India is also trying to break into the space launch market with ISRO first fully commercial launch exclusively for foreign satellites pegged to launch later this month.
"I am happy to state that India would be happy to help other friendly countries develop land restoration strategies through cost-effective satellite and space technology," stated Modi during the United Nations Conference of the Parties ( UN-COP) 14 to combat desertification.
India's most recent mission to moon, Chandrayaan 2, cost ₹10 billion ($140 million). It's lauded for being cheaper than the budget of Avengers: Endgame.
India's Mars Orbiter Mission ( MOM) — also called Mangalyaan — also impressed the world by reaching the Red Planet on a budget of ₹4.5 billion ($74 million).
Even the upcoming Gaganyaan mission, which is India's first attempt to send astronauts into space, has expected to cost less than ₹100 billion ($1.43 billion).
The price of keeping costs down
India's exploration of space might be considered budget friendly but it comes at a price. These missions are mostly undertaken to demonstrate India's technological prowess.
Other space agencies around the world, like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), spend a lot more on their voyages into outer space — and have a lot more to gain as well.
ESA's missions are categorised from Class A to D, depending on the priority of the mission, its national significance, the mission's lifetime and how much it's going to cost.
The longer the mission, the more expensive it likely will be.
Capturing the launch market
It's not only India's missions into space that are pocket friendly, but also their launch technology. Later this month on 16 September 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to conduct its first ever commercial launch catering exclusively to foreign satellites.
It will be launching two British satellites — Novasar and S1-4 — aboard its PSLV C-42 rocket from the launch pad in Sriharikota.
"Subsequent two PSLV mission will also carry foreign satellites. However those missions will be on sharing mode (also carrying Indian payloads)," ISRO Chairman K Sivan told Times of India.
As of now, NASA dominates the commercial satellite launch market. India's apex space agency has only managed to muster 0.6% share of the market pegged at ₹36 billion.
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