The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched two foreign satellites from Sriharikota on September 16. The mission name was PSLV C 42, which was conducted to launch earth observation satellites – S1-4 and NovaSAR, which was weighing 889 kg together. These satellites were of Survey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL), the UK with Department of Space, Antrix Corporation Limited.
These both satellites will provide assistance for ice cover monitoring and land use, forest mapping, flood and disaster forecast, environment monitoring, surveying resources, disaster monitoring, and urban management.
This could be considered as an activity of revenue generation for ISRO as this launch will possibly add few hundreds of crores to the ISRO’s wallet.
Before this recent launch, ISRO already has sent around 237 satellites successfully for various customers such as Israel, Singapore, France, and Italy. The analysis of launched satellites indicates that India is providing this kind of services to various parts of world – from France, Belgium, Germany, UK, Australia, Italy and Denmark in Europe to UAE, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Algeria in West Asia to South East Asia like South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, to North American nations such as Canada and USA.
It is important to look at India’s collaboration with these states not only from a commercial point of view but also note the larger geostrategic significance to it.
So the question arises, ‘why these states are attracted to ISRO for collaboration?’
To answer this question, it is important to know that there are hardly 10 countries in the world that have the capabilities to launch satellites. India is more of an emerging player; however, the reason for India getting more attention is because of its most reliable and cost-effective launching facilities.
ISRO has gained and unblemished reputation globally over the years. That is why; even the countries that are capable to launch their own satellites, such as Japan, Israel, the USA, and France are coming to ISRO for their launching.
India is now getting recognized as one of a major player in the space domain. However, India’s South Asian neighbors are still dependent on China and Europe.
Many countries across the world are making good progress in the area of science and technology. However, when it comes about rocket science, many are found struggling. Space technology is widely seen as a symbol of prestige and power. Just like possession of nuclear technology is seen as a symbol of hard power, the possession of space technology is seen as a symbol of soft power.
ISRO is playing a key role in connecting people and continents through the satellite launching business model. From communication and navigation to education and technology, ISRO is en routing to a high notch and is becoming all-pervading.