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         industries. They can take up the chal- lenge of setting up service ventures that are profitable. Today, private participa- tion is on a partnership basis and the time has come for private sector to ex- pand deeper and wider. They can get into launch vehicles and satellites. This, however, needs large investment and long gestation time. Industries should be patient enough to invest and wait for results. Investors shouldn’t look for im- mediate profit.
Data security is one of the most important aspects in space technology, whether it’s technological data or data for strategic pur- poses. With the entry of private players, isn’t data security and protection going to be an important issue?
Data security for both earth observation and digital communication is a major concern. The space policy has to evolve to be able to provide a framework for monitoring and controlling mechanisms for space data. In India, the space law is in a nascent stage and has to be made effective at the earliest.
What kind of role startups will play in boost- ing space activities?
ISRO can provide a framework for fu- ture activities. It is for the startups to come up with ideas to improve perfor- mance, reduce cost or achieve higher reliability. It is new ideas and hard work which can lead to success of startups.
It is learnt that ISRO is giving opportunities to academia for indigenous technology de- velopment. Are Indian academia, industry and startups prepared to carry out space activities and contribute towards making India self-reliant?
ISRO has always made use of talent in academia and industry for indigenous development of space technology. With the progress of time, more and more challenges and opportunities have emerged. There is a large risk involved in developing space systems and only a few industries are coming forward. With ISRO’s efforts, we are almost self- reliant in critical technologies for space, and private players have an opportunity to participate in future challenges asso-
G. Madhavan Nair signing an agreement with Jean Jacques Jordain of European Space Agency (ESA) for including European instruments
on Chandray“aan-I in 2005
Space technology has become critical in the area of defence. Satellite-based observation and communication are already playing a major role in this field. Such capacity can be used to monitor activities across the border and provide”advance data to frontier units.
ciated with planetary exploration and fundamental studies on astronomy.
How is space technology going to influence warfare in the future? Can it be a good deter- rent like nuclear weapons have been? Space technology has become critical in the area of defence. Satellite-based observation and communication are al- ready playing a major role in this field. Such capability can be used to monitor
 activities across the border and provide advance data to the frontline units. Also, advanced systems are being de- veloped for tracking missiles, especially detecting the launch of missile from space. Thus space technology is going to be part and parcel of the defence system.
The US is developing a human-rated Space Launch System and it already has the Falcon Heavy. There are some more human-rated launch vehicles under development. Should India be looking for multiple human-rated launch options in the next decade or would we rely on GSLV MK-III?
The US has taken the lead in the de- velopment of human-rated launch sys- tems like SpaceX Dragon. It is going to meet the requirements of taking several people and tens of tons of payload to the Earth’s orbit, to Moon or Mars. India cannot be lagging behind in this technology. That is why the Gaganyaan programme, which will enable three persons to be taken to the Earth’s or- bit and brought back safely, was taken up. GSLV Mk III is a suitable launcher for this purpose and activities related to man rating are in progress. Ultimately, India should undertake development of recoverable and reusable launch system
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