India on Track to Emerge as the Foremost Global Hub for Satellite Launches, Asserts Sunil Bharti Mittal
Sunil Bharti Mittal outlines India's potential to lead in satellite launches globally, leveraging low costs and technological advancements
India could soon emerge as the preferred destination for satellite launches, with an ambition to conduct one launch every week, as per the visionary insights of Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises. In the wake of the current geopolitical events involving Russia’s space agency, ROSCOSMOS, Mittal emphasises the golden opportunity that India has in seizing the reins in the space sector, potentially becoming a dominant player on the global stage.
ROSCOSMOS has temporarily ceased its launch activities due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This pause creates a significant vacuum in the space sector, which India, with its technological advancements and lower costs, is well-placed to fill. Leveraging this, Mittal is advocating for a dramatic escalation in India's satellite launch frequency, aiming for an ambitious 52 launches annually.
India has already proven its mettle in space technology, showcasing impressive feats at a fraction of the cost that other nations incur. A testament to this is the recent successful Chandrayaan-3 mission, which, according to Mittal, could have cost billions if undertaken by the US. The success of this mission has not only brought immense pride to the nation but has also stirred conversations worldwide about India's burgeoning space capabilities.
Mittal's OneWeb, backed by Bharti Enterprises, is at the forefront of this new space race, closely competing with Elon Musk's Starlink. The two companies are the only global players aiming to revolutionise connectivity through a network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. OneWeb is keen on showcasing the potential of space-based connectivity solutions and has set an aggressive timeline to roll out its broadband services in India by the end of November. Already, 72 satellites have been deployed through two separate launches facilitated by ISRO in October 2022 and March 2023.
As the world enters a new era of space exploration, Mittal strongly believes that the time is ripe for India to expand its horizons further. He encourages the nation to undertake more ambitious missions to the Moon and Mars, highlighting the critical role that India can play in the international space community. Moreover, he envisages a deeper collaboration with the International Space Station, fostering a more meaningful participation in global space initiatives.
Undoubtedly, with the fervent support of visionaries like Sunil Bharti Mittal, India is poised to carve out a significant niche in the space sector, offering high-tech solutions at competitive prices, and potentially becoming the satellite launch destination of choice for nations across the world.