ISRO opens up facilities for private sector first time ever

ISRO has opened up its facilities to the private sector with two satellites from companies and one from academia being tested in the UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) here. This has happened for the first time in over 50 years of India’s space programme after India opened up its space sector to private players in June last year.

In the next few months, two private firms will test their engines at Sriharikota spaceport and Thiruvananthapuram rocket centre. Isro will soon give its satellite images to a private firm that offers mapping services.

Satellites from Tamil Nadu-based Space Kidz India and Bengaluru-based Syzygy Space Technologies have undergone testing at URSC.

URSC also tested UNITYsat, which had problems with the separation system which we’re setting right. UNITYsat is a combination of three satellites designed and built by Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Sriperumbudur, GH Raisoni College of Engineering, Nagpur and Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore.

Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos’s engine will be tested at Thiruvananthapuram while Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace’s engine will be tested at Sriharikota.

Also, we MapmyIndia, which builds digital maps and offers GIS services, has approached Isro for high-resolution images. These developments are in line with opening up the space sector to private firms.

At least 26 proposals, including those from US-based Amazon Web Services and Bharti Group backed UK-based OneWeb, are being reviewed by Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre.

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