ISRO | American newspaper New York Times praised Indian space program

New York (USA): Hailing India’s ambitious space programme, the American newspaper The New York Times has said that the world’s largest democracy is witnessing a rapid growth of start-ups in the field of space-technology, indicating It is believed that it can bring about a massive change in this sector and can also emerge as a force to give ‘equal competition’ to China. The leading American newspaper said, “When India launched its first rocket in 1963, it was a poor country adopting the world’s most advanced technology. That rocket was carried on a bicycle to the launchpad and successfully launched into space 124 miles from Earth. At that time, India was just pretending to stand with America and Soviet Union, but today India has a much stronger position in the space race. In an article titled ‘Surprising pioneers in the world’s space business’, the newspaper said that India has at least 140 registered space-technology start-ups which include ‘a local research sector that is driving a sea change’. Could “The growth of startups has been remarkable and they have a huge market,” the article said. ALSO READ The ‘New York Times’ (NYT) underscored the importance of India emerging as a ‘scientific powerhouse’ and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington last month at the invitation of President Joe Biden and It cited a joint statement issued by the two sides which said the two leaders have ‘paved the way to reach new frontiers in all areas of space cooperation’. The paper said that both the US and India “see space as an area in which India can compete on an equal footing with their mutual rival China”. “One of India’s advantages is geopolitical,” he said. She said Russia and China have historically offered low-cost options for launches. The NYT said, “But the war in Ukraine has ended Russia’s role as a competitor.” “Similarly, the US government is more likely to approve the transfer of military-grade technology through India than through China to any American company,” the article said. The NYT article also mentions Hyderabad-based ‘Skyroot Aerospace’ and aerospace manufacturer ‘Dhruv Space’. It also mentions Bengaluru-based start-up Pixel, which has “tied up with an intelligence agency working with the Pentagon”. Its co-founders are Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal. Describing India as ‘a thriving center of innovation’ and ‘one of the most competitive launch destinations in the world’, the NYT article said space-technology start-ups are among India’s ‘most sought-after regions’ for venture capital investors. ‘ and their growth has been ‘extremely remarkable’. It said the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) “formed about 400 private companies in clusters in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and elsewhere, each dedicated to manufacturing specialized screws, sealants and other products for space”. The newspaper said that India has an abundance of affordable engineers but their low salaries alone cannot beat the competition. Due to this Indian company like Skyroot is focusing more on specialized services. Pawan Kumar Chandana (32), co-founder and CEO of Skyroot Aerospace, has projected a global requirement of 30,000 satellite launches in this decade. “We are like a cab,” he said. His company charges more for small-payload launches, while Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is “like a bus or a train where they pick up all their passengers and drop them off at one place”. The article states that Dhruv Space is India’s first space start-up to launch satellites. Its head of strategy, Kranti Chand, is hardly in Hyderabad in any given month as he spends about a week in Europe and another week in the US talking to clients and investors. (agency)

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