The world has been witness to an unprecedented surge in satellite launches in recent years, signaling a new era of space exploration. Data from the European Space Agency reveals that the tally of satellites orbiting our planet has crossed the 15,000 mark, with future projections painting a staggering picture – an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 more satellites poised to join this celestial dance within the next 15 years. What sets this wave apart is the notable fact that an overwhelming 80% of these impending satellites are categorized as small satellites, weighing less than 500 kg.
Not long ago, the domain of space endeavors was predominantly the territory of government entities, exemplified by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). A shroud of secrecy enveloped the industry, and the prospects for private ventures seemed distant.
From Government Dominance to Startup Power: Space Industry's Transformation
However, this narrative has undergone a seismic shift, catalyzed by the surge of pioneering space startups and the visionary Indian Space Policy 2023. These startups are not merely reshaping our understanding of space exploration; they are also ushering in a new era of commercial space activities. The successful landing of India's Chandrayaan-3 makes the horizon for India's space program look bright.
The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) has some thrilling updates in the field of space technology. Three startups working in the space sector are getting ready to launch their earth observation satellites into space this fiscal year.
Which Indian space startups are going to launch satellites?
The trio of startups includes GalaxEye Space Solutions Pvt Ltd based in Chennai, Dhruva Space headquartered in Hyderabad, and Pixxel located in Bengaluru.
- GalaxEye Space Solutions Pvt Ltd: In the beautiful city of Chennai, GalaxEye Space Solutions Pvt Ltd is leading the way in innovation. The excitement is growing as the company gets ready to launch its first satellite, Dhrishti, in the last part of 2023. This satellite is the start of GalaxEye's special group of high-resolution microsatellites. GalaxEye's group of satellites has a variety of advanced tools like high-resolution cameras and radar systems. These technologies are set to change the way we combine and use data. This can be used in many ways, like watching the environment, tracking illegal ships, and assessing insurance risks. These plans are mentioned in IN-SPACe's detailed paper about earth observation satellites in India.
- Dhruva Space: From the busy city of Hyderabad, Dhruva Space is a leader in satellite technology. The startup is getting ready to launch its hyperspectral mission at the beginning of 2024. This mission is about getting very detailed and accurate information from space.
- Pixxel: In the lively city of Bengaluru, Pixxel is set to make a mark in the world of satellites. The company has big plans – they want to start launching their commercial satellites in 2023. This group of six satellites will be able to cover any place on Earth every 48 hours. It raised $36 million in funding led by Google in June earlier this year.
KaleidEO's Detailed View: Capturing Earth's Details from Space
In the world of satellites, Satsure's part, KaleidEO, has come up with some exciting plans. They are making a group of four satellites that can take pictures with great detail, down to just 1 meter. This is a big step in getting clearer images from space.
The stage is all set, and there's a lot of excitement as startups like GalaxEye Space Solutions Pvt Ltd, Dhruva Space, and Pixxel get ready to send their satellites to watch Earth. With their smart technology and big dreams, these startups are changing how we collect and study data from satellites. As we look up at the sky, we're entering a new time of space exploration and learning where private entities and startups will play a massive role under the able leadership of ISRO.