Diving Into The Space Commerce Of India

India, the fifth-largest economy globally, boasts thriving businesses and a formidable international presence. In recent years, it has emerged as a key player in the global space industry, with its Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) achieving remarkable milestones like its successful Mars mission and the historic soft landing on the lunar South Pole.

According to Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh’s written reply in the Lok Sabha, India’s space economy currently stands at $8.4 billion, contributing around 2% to 3% of the global space economy. Forecasts indicate this figure could climb up to $44 billion by 2032. ISRO, having launched over 380 satellites, has generated approximately $279 million in revenue. Moreover, ISRO had the record for the most satellites launched in a single mission. However, SpaceX later surpassed it, with 143 satellites launched in a single mission.

Beyond ISRO, India’s emerging private space sector is making significant strides, too. The number of space startups has seen a notable increase, from just one in 2014 to over 189 in 2024, attracting over $127 million in total funding, as per a report by the Press Information Bureau (PIB). This can also be attributed to the Make In India initiative, which emphasised the importance of locally made goods, including satellites and launchers. 

This thriving ecosystem of space startups is poised to propel India to the forefront of space exploration and commerce. So far, IN-SPACe has signed 45 MoUs with Indian space startups, primarily for funding purposes. These startups are not only flourishing but also developing cutting-edge technologies. For example, Kawa Space is pioneering a satellite propulsion system to enhance maneuverability and reduce satellite failure rates. Another space startup, Skyroot Aerospace, is developing a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle, and the startup claims that this will significantly cut down the cost of launching satellites. 

Despite a modest $2 billion budget for space exploration and missions, the Indian government is actively seeking ways to bolster the space economy, including through Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). Dr. Jitendra Singh also addressed this matter and said, “ FDI in space sector is allowed under Government route for satellite establishment and operations. In order to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Space Sector, the Department of Space in consultation with DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) is in the process of reviewing the FDI policy guidelines of the space sector.

With the global space economy projected to soar to $1 trillion by 2040, India, with its 4% annual growth rate, is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of space commerce and exploration globally.

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