Executive Intelligence Review


India’s Manned Space Program Will Be a ‘Truly National Effort’

Aug. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—An Indian program to launch an astronaut into Earth orbit by 2022, just announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sparked a discussion among the Indian intelligentsia on whether to do it, what it would entail, how much it will cost, its value to the nation, etc.

One thoughtful contribution is a commentary yesterday in DNA (dnaindia.com) by Vidya Sagar Reddy, at the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative of Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. He characterizes the initiative as “truly a national effort [that] will improve the country’s scientific potential, not to mention the positive impact on technical education.”

“The shape of the program to come, spinoffs and continuity projects will have to be discussed,” along with the budget to carry it out, he observes. “The project is expected to create at least 15,000 jobs.”

International cooperation will be necessary to accomplish the ambitious goal, he says. For example, “astronaut training could be obtained from the U.S. or Russia ... the U.S. possesses space tracking sensors spread around the globe,” that can help with navigation, and in general, “Europe (especially France) and Russia are also welcoming partners for India’s manned mission.”

The overall assessment in the Indian space community is that it will take a great and concentrated effort, and the adequate budget support, but that it can be done by the Prime Minister’s target date.