A total of 27 satellite launch missions and 25 space shuttle launch missions have been conducted in India over the past five years, said Minister of state (MoS) of the Department of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh. The data was shared by Singh in response to questions during the Winter Session of Parliament.
Singh further stated that during the period between April 2016 and March 2021, a total of 286 commercial satellites from both domestic as well as foreign companies, and eight student satellites were also launched. Other achievements in the domain of space during this period included successful demonstrations of space technologies -- a Scramjet engine, a Reusable Launch Vehicle, and a Crew Escape System.
The full statement by Singh at the Parliament, as reported by ANI, read, “Some of the major space missions include a first operational flight of India's heavy-lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III which placed India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2 into orbit; Advanced Cartography satellite, Cartosat-3; completion of NavIC constellation; launch of South Asia Satellite; launch of heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite, GSAT-11 and launch of record 104 satellites in a single PSLV flight.”
Singh further affirmed at the Parliament that the Department of Space has worked to eke out short-term and long-term plans for India’s space transportation systems, earth observation satellite operations, satellite-based communications and navigation systems, space-based application building, and a plan ahead for space sciences and planetary exploration.
The minister’s statement comes as India is expected to add to its existing space policy through 2022. The government has recently worked towards privatising access space for Indian players, and going forward, a number of private startups such as Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot Aerospace are expected to take India’s private space journey forward.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), meanwhile, is expected to play the role of a mentor, while handling research-based space projects.