Man behind India’s first Mars mission shares the secret of his country’s success in outer space endeavors
Dubai-UAE: 12 February, 2018 – India’s spectacular Red Planet debut with a successful first Mars mission in 2014 brought it a great deal of international acclaim and attention.
“The world understood that the Indian space industry meant serious business,” said Dr Koppillil Radhakrishnan, former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that helmed the project, at a session titled ‘India’s Mission to Mars’, as part of the Space Settlements Forum during the sixth World Government Summit (WGS 2018).
India’s space program was born in 1963 and institutionalized with ISRO’s establishment in 1969 – the year the US put a man on the Moon. In a relatively short span of time, the country has emerged as a serious player in the space industry offering low-cost and reliable services. The space program, which launched its 100th satellite last month, has a budget of around US$4 billion, and the government hopes the latest round of successful launches will improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than US$300 billion global space industry. In February 2017 only, India launched 104 satellites in a single mission, most of them for foreign customers.
“Since 1963, when a French rocket took off from a tiny village in India, to today, when we have launched 238 satellites for 31 countries, including the UAE, the Indian space program has come a long way. Through our obsession for self-reliance, we have a great constellation of satellites that cover the atmosphere, oceans, land, forestry, agriculture and meteorology,” Dr Radhakrishnan said.
“The Indian space program believes in greater international collaboration, and is guided by the philosophy that space is for humanity and space is for us to better understand humanity,” he concluded.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.
Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features six distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.