With Misson Shakti, India is now part of a rarefied club of global space powers which have demonstrated capability for missile-based anti-satellite weapons
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The NASA InSight mission has demonstrated that cube satellites can, after all, endure interplanetary travel. Such miniaturisation of technology looks set to disrupt the obsolete 20th century approach to space exploration. It will give rise to an interplanetary telecom industry, which is indispensable for the support of human presence on Mars
A grand achievement is a series of smaller, well-defined, and precise accomplishments. If the vision of putting an Indian on the moon has to materialise, it should be preceded by several smaller projects and diverse institutions meeting definite targets. What would these targets be? Where does India’s scientific community stand in meeting them as of this day? What kind, and how much, additional capacity needs to be added to the Indian science sector to put an Indian on the moon?
India’s human spaceflight programme calls for a strong symbiosis between the country’s private sector, defence, and civilian agencies. The focus should be on indigenous development to preserve strategic autonomy
Since Independence, India has been consumed by its domestic priorities. Now, with increasing integration with the world and a huge stake in global stability, it is time to focus on the global commons. India has a seat on the hightable to design and shape the rules for the governance of the global commons. In this special Independence Day Briefing, Gateway House examines India’s engagement with four global commons – technology, outer space, cyber and the oceans – and makes recommendations on how best they can be governed for our collective future.
Ownership of lunar artifacts – objects left behind by space missions – will become a vexing issue as the international footprint on the Moon grows. Such archaeological objects may be designated ‘national heritage’, but the site on which they exist ought to remain ‘a global common’, and not become a point of territorial contestation. The Moon needs to be managed by global consensus, prudence and realism.
Washington is planning to integrate its military space operations. Each arm of the United States Armed Forces has had a space command until now but uniting these discrete units into a new Space Force is a step ahead. The U.S.’ big-picture ambition is ‘full spectrum battle-space dominance’ and the contest to achieve it has implications for the defence and space industry
Border regions and communities, some of them far from the heartland, constitute India’s first line of defence, a critical link in its national security. India’s 15,000-km borders touch seven neighbouring countries: Afghanistan (abutting Gilgit), Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar. Border regions have their own local dynamics, often shaped by subnational and religious identities that do not necessarily align neatly with political borders. Some also serve as flourishing corridors for illegal smuggling of goods and humans. Technology plays an important role in better protecting borders, but in some cases it has made borders obsolete. Despite their importance, border regions do not receive the full attention of the Indian mainstream, except when border tensions arise.
Pakistan is about to launch two military satellites in June with aid from China. It is pursuing its renewed space programme, using the same clandestine tactics it used for developing its atomic programme
Modern astronomy will stimulate scientific, technological, economic and human resource development—all high priorities for India. New Delhi should exploit its proximity to the ‘Roof of the World’ to advance its geopolitical interests