NEW DELHI: The Indian Space Programme and its ecosystem have been in a state of unprecedented vibrancy with various achievements since the Modi government came at the helm—from building its heaviest satellite at 5854 kg to manufacturing its own navigation satellite system. Under the current regime, advancement in space technology has registered moonshot gains. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) since 2014 has successfully performed 44 spacecraft missions, 42 launch vehicle missions and 5 technology demonstrators. Moreover, in order to boost the space research activities, Space Technology Incubational Centres (STIC) at some of the key locations of the country were established, since 2018. To boost the start-up culture in the space industry, the establishment of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) was announced in June 2020 by the Government of India, as an autonomous body under the Department of Space.
This was to create an eco-system for the industry, academia and start-ups and to attract major share in the global space economy, by authorizing and regulating activities of NGEs in the space sector through detailed guidelines and procedures. In addition to that, setting up of IN-SPACe and enhancing the role New Space India Limited (NSIL) are the two major thrust areas in the reforms. GSAT-24 communication satellite, which is the first demand driven mission of NSIL, was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, in June 2022. Moreover, NSIL has signed 19 Technology Transfer Agreements and has successfully transferred 8 ISRO developed Technologies to Indian industry. In addition to that, the development in the space sector is set to achieve more milestones in the future.

In September 2014, India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft successfully entered into an orbit around planet Mars, putting India into a league of select nations which had sent a spacecraft to the Red Planet. The spacecraft is still functional even after 7 years of operation against the designed life of six months and serving the nation with a lot of interesting science data. Moreover, ISRO has established and operationalised its domestic navigation system named Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) which provides highly accurate Position, Navigation and Time information to users in India and its surroundings. A total of 7 satellites form the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System [IRNSS]–all launched by PSLV, with IRNSS-1G completing the constellation in 2016.
Another AstroSat was launched by ISRO in September 2015, which is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. AstroSat has made major breakthroughs by discovering five new galaxies.
Various NavIC based services have been rolled out in many key sectors like integration of NavIC-enabled devices with the enrolment architecture of UIDAI Aadhar enrolment, incorporation of NavIC in the Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) network, In agricultural drones and Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM) etc. Successful flight testing of Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) was done in 2016. RLV-TD is one of the most technologically challenging endeavours of ISRO towards developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle. The first experimental mission of ISRO’s Scramjet Engine towards the realisation of Air Breathing Propulsion System was also successfully conducted in 2016. And in 2017, ISRO created a world record by successfully placing 104 satellites in orbit during a single launch.
ISRO demonstrated new technology with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD)–a game changer.