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.
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Space exploration may take a hit as terrestrial politics plays spoilsport with the U.S. government spearheading a sanctions programme against Russia. With China pursuing an independent space programme of its own, Russia’s departure from the effort may mark the beginning of a divided space once again after the Cold War
The global trends are moving in the direction of an arms race in space and the latest entrant is China which has proved its capability in deploying anti-satellite missiles. India too is combining the efforts of its space research organisations to build a defence command for its assets in outer space
Indian companies are pursuing defence offsets and commercial aviation products, but bypassing the global space economy. To build on this market requires New Delhi to overhaul its space policy, ISRO to amend its policy on contracts, and Indian industry to share the risk and investment
As tensions have risen with China, many in Vietnam have urged a de facto economic and military alliance with the U.S. The decision to send Vietnamese President, President Truong Tan Sang, to Washington suggests that Vietnam's leaders may be ready to deal with the U.S.
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.
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.
If its space assets are used effectively, India could have a formidable fleet of five to 10 satellites dedicated for military use and dozens more for the advancement of its economy.
Technology is changing the face of global conflict. With cyber attacks, biotechnology, unmanned robotics and weaponry designed to cripple the armies of the last era, small independent groups and previously less-powerful governments will gain the ability to assert more power.
The success of satellite technology in Operation Geronimo and the failure of India’s satellite architecture to identify the accident site of the helicopter carrying the Arunachal Chief Minister raise questions about the quality of India’s sensor technology and satellite imagery interpretation expertise.