The stature of space service over the past decades has created an enormous change in the field of advanced research and development. As a result, the global space economy currently stands out to be a $350 Billion industry that includes engaging satellite services, ground equipment, launch pads, and more.
Among the space services, the small commercial space satellite market has been a booming one. It is predicted that the launch of commercial satellites into the lower orbit will be a profitable and fastest-growing market in the following years. Application such as remote sensing, communication, navigation, imaging, earth observation are all part of the small satellite industry.
Also Read: The unforgettable Premier Padmini
According to available statistical data, the market size of commercial satellite launch services is worth more than $6 billion with a forecasted compound annual growth rate of 10-15 percent by 2030. Studies have found that Asia-Pacific is an emerging commercial satellite market that will account for a revenue generation of over 30 percent due to a gain in indigenous manufacturing capability.
Among the global players, ISRO has become highly competitive, especially in injecting commercial satellites accurately into orbit. Other players include NASA, Boeing, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corporation, COSMOS, Sea Launch, Antrix Corporation Ltd and more are part of the billion-dollar space industry.
Since 1999, ISRO has launched more than 300 foreign satellites and has forfeited its recognition amid international space organizations. However, in the last six years, ISRO’s performance in launching commercial satellites has been phenomenal. Countries like America, France, Germany, and the UK have become potential customers of ISRO due to its affordability and pinpoint accuracy.
From 2015 to 2019, ISRO earned a revenue worth ₹1,245.17 crores from launching commercial satellites. In FY 2017-18, revenue collection stood at ₹232.56 crores and for 2018-19, ISRO earned ₹324.19 crores. A member of NITI Aayog, V.K Saraswat once in an international space conference mentioned that by 2027, about 7,000 global satellites to be up in the skies for $38 Billion. The Indian Space Research Organisation even broke a smashing record of launching 104 satellites out of which 101 were commercial.
To push space research, the GoI over the five years has pumped a large amount of investment in its economic budget. The Finance Ministry for the 2018-2019 Union budget rolled out ₹12,473 crores for space research with an increase of 3 percent from previous years. Similarly, for FY 2020-21, the Department of Space has been allocated Rs 13,479 crore. The budget allocation has come as a major boost and endeavors a hike of eight percent.
The commercial launch of small and medium-size satellites at affordable costs is helping nations to develop. The observatory and image capturing satellites assist the countries to understand and study agricultural lands, borders, and demographic changes. ISRO, which was previously neglected by NASA until a few years back, is now gearing to collaborate with Indian scientists for exploring undisclosed possibilities in space science.