Success with Chandrayaan-3 will bring the highest endorsement for the Isro meritocracy.
Indian Space Research Organisation launched its proven Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket carrying 7 Singaporean satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota and placed them in intended orbits. The Sunday of the launch was just another day at the office for an organsiation that has taken on the precision of the legendary Swiss watch in its operations.
The fact that the launch created only polite applause of satisfaction in those involved in the work of satellite launches rather than ripples of excitement across the space community is itself a tribute to the professional way a highly evolved Isro is carrying out valuable, high precision launches and shining in the space business.
Isro’s reliable workhorse in the PSLV carried out its assignment of heavy lifting into space in a business that was worth $8.07 bn in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR above 12 per cent. How much Isro has come on since its official launch in 1969 and into a more modern era than the time in which the first space rocket travelled on the back of a bicycle to Thumba is apparent in successive endorsements of Indian scientists and space engineers.
Of course, there are challenges, of money primarily as the space industry has been sent into exponential expansion with the likes of one of the world’s richest men, Elon Musk, dominating the industry of small sat launches with his Starlink project even as other major investors like Amazon are chasing him. Capital constraints, with not enough private capital coming India’s way for space projects might inhibit the likes of Isro from aiming higher in the business of placing small satellites in low orbits to offer internet connectivity are concerned.
Isro might be preoccupied now with its August 23 date for Chandrayaan-3’s lander and rover with the Moon’s surface. That mission, as well as the planned manned mission to the Moon and the solar explorer will place Isro on a higher plane from the point of view of man’s scientific advancement. Success with Chandrayaan-3 will bring the highest endorsement for the Isro meritocracy. Fingers crossed for the day on which India may take its biggest stride in space in landing a craft on the unexplored side of the Moon near its south pole.