With the U.S.-led Artemis Accords gathering momentum, and China and Russia joining hands, space exploration is becoming economically important. Countries increasingly want to participate in the space exploration economy and are partnering with space superpowers that have aligned geopolitical and geoeconomic interests. India, too, must do the same, says Dr. Chaitanya Giri, Fellow, Space and Ocean Studies Programme.
The Indian administration enacted much-needed space reforms in 2020, paving the way for a private space industry in the country. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended space launch activities in the country. The Department of Space must remove these redundancies to make India’s space launch centers and spaceports market-oriented and ready for commercial, military, civilian, and experimental space launches.
With the space sector being divided into astro-political blocs, India can't afford to stay non-aligned. A recent treaty between China and Russia makes it plain for India that leaving space exploration to a few science aficionados can be dangerous. India needs a national space exploration strategy with tangible economic and meta-strategic goals in sight.