India-EU space collaboration is still nascent largely due to the EU’s limited autonomy over its space programme. Astro-geopolitics, an inevitable successor to geopolitics, requires confidence-building and furthering strengthening of bilateral linkages
ELSI Origins Network Scientist, Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo
Dr. Chaitanya Giri is a ELSI Origins Network Scientist at the Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan. He was earlier at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, where he was working on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. He was the member of the science investigation team that identified sixteen distinct organic molecules on the surface of the comet, a first-ever exploration in history. Chaitanya is the recipient of the 2014 Dieter Rampacher Prize by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science for outstanding doctoral research. He is a member of the Working Group on Origin of Life at the prestigious Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He has extensive collaborative relations with the Planetary Exploration Research Center and University of Tokyo in Japan, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and Synchrotron SOLEIL in France, The German Aerospace Center (DLR), the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Ames Research Center and the Carnegie Institution of Science in the United States.
Geo- and Space Strategy, Technology Forecasting, Space Exploration, Space Advocacy, Science
Last modified: March 8, 2017
The Indian Space Programme has a mandate to focus on its launch- and earth-oriented capabilities. In the past decade, it has attempted some non-conventional experimental projects under the labels “‘low-cost” and “technology demonstrator”. However the effect of these experimental space projects on India’s techno-economic growth will be realised only if the central government gives the project greater status and funding.
A tectonic shift is occurring in the science landscape, wherein newly-developed nations are audaciously investing in frontier scientific research at par with developed nations. India is game to join this new wave of advancement, but its research-funding mechanisms are deficient. Can Indian philanthropy endow indigenous R&D?
Instead of inviting foreign corporations to India to create a manufacturing base, Modi can use his Silicon Valley experience to build a similar research and development foundation in India for indigenous high-tech companies. A strategic space megaproject could be the start of this much-needed push.
The UN’s Transparency and Confidence Building Measures for Outer Space Activities to address terrestrial anti-satellite weapons have spawned schismatic instruments such as the EU’s International Code of Conduct and a Sino-Russian treaty. India must weigh its national interests before agreeing to these drafts
At a time when China has invested substantially in its space projects and Russia is invigorating its space exploration, India too must develop a strategically-designed programme. The successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission should give New Delhi enough reason to increase India’s space footprint
An increase in the global demand for rare earth elements, used in high-technology industries, coupled with limited supplies on Earth, has accelerated extra-terrestrial exploration. International cooperation and competition for these space-based resources will determine the next human footprint and race in space.
In the past few years, the political map of Antarctica, a region rich in mineral-fuel resources, has changed immensely. How can the ongoing geopolitical polarization in this region have unfavourable global effects in the long run?
Though India’s approach to space has been pragmatic, it is hindered by a lackadaisical approach by policymakers. India must recognize the stagnancy and myopia of its space program and come up with a long-term vision.