shutterstock_1042736410 Courtesy: Shutterstock
11 July 2019

Chandrayaan-2: presaging private participation

On 15 July, the Indian space programme will achieve a feat with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. Two challenges lie ahead: the speedy construction of Chandrayaan-3 and the development of a public-private ecosystem of space capabilities

MzExMjcwMA Courtesy: IEEE Spectrum
6 June 2019

BECA and the 5G-weather clash

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial Cooperation (BECA), the last of the India-U.S. foundational agreements, needs deeper analyses. Its over-emphasis on imaging overlooks the potential clash between the telecom and meteorological technologies, which can hurt India’s crucial capabilities in space-based weather forecasting and disaster management.

7295_Mars-MarCO-InSight-Lander-CubeSats-Illustration-PIA19388-full2 Courtesy: NASA
29 November 2018

Emergence of the interplanetary telecom industry

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

Capture Courtesy: Swarajya
3 October 2018

Putting an Indian on the moon

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?

global-commons-870_0 Courtesy: Global Environment Facility
15 August 2018

India in the Global Commons

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.

SEI_Lunar_Base_Concept01 Courtesy: NASA/SAIC/Pat Rawlings
9 August 2018

Geopolitical territoriality on the moon

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.

US Space Force Courtesy: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
19 July 2018

U.S. Space Force: reconfiguring military for space

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

Sameer Patil-Arc of Border Security-May 11 Courtesy: Gateway House
21 June 2018

Arc of India’s Border Security

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.