Today: Apr 23, 2024

2023 Rewind: 204 Indian space startups rise with $123mn investment

4 months ago

India has witnessed a significant growth in its space sector in 2023, with the emergence of 54 new space startups, bringing the total number of startups in the sector to 204. These startups have received a total funding of $123.9 million in 2023, taking the total funding in the sector to $380.25 million. This growth has been attributed to the Indian government’s New Space Policy 2023, which opened up the space sector to private companies. Previously, only the government-run ISRO was allowed to carry out space activities.

The New Space Policy has allowed private firms and startups to seek government support and carry out various space activities. Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), the government-run sectoral regulator, approves these activities. The policy allows private players to engage in all activities in the space sector, including launch vehicles, communications, and applications.

OneWeb India has become the first company to receive approval from IN-SPACe to provide satellite broadband services in India. This marks progress towards making satellite internet available in the country. Additionally, the Telecommunications Bill, 2023, has secured legislative approval, paving the way for the allocation of satellite spectrum in India. These developments signify significant milestones for India’s satellite communication sector.

Several Indian space startups have achieved notable milestones in 2023. Dhruva Space launched its 3U and 6U Satellite Orbital Deployers and its Dhruva Space Satellite Orbiter Link (DSOL). Azista-BST launched its maiden satellite, the ABA First Runner (AFR), on a SpaceX rocket. Skyroot Aerospace inaugurated India’s largest private integrated rocket development facility and unveiled Vikram-1, a multi-stage launch vehicle with a payload capacity of approximately 300 kg. Agnikul Cosmos completed ground tests and unveiled its rocket within the ISRO spaceport at Sriharikota.

The Indian private space industry is expected to undergo a revolution in 2024 with unprecedented collaborations, groundbreaking launches, and visionary policies. The growth of the sector is seen as a result of the government’s efforts to open up the space sector to private players and provide support for their activities.