Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 90th episode of the Mann Ki Baat radio programme on Sunday, said that the country cannot lag behind as youth is ready to touch the sky. A few years ago, people never thought of startups in the space sector. But today, their number has crossed 100.
Hailing several big accomplishments in the space sector recently, Narendra Modi said, "One of the big achievements is the creation of an agency named In-Space, which is promoting and creating new opportunities for the private sector."
"Earlier youth thought of the space sector as a secret mission, but after the country undertook space reforms, the same youth are now launching their own satellites," he added.
He further said that over 750 school students from around the country are now working on 75 small satellites in the Amrit Mahotsav.
The Indian PM also mentioned two Indian startups - Agnikul and Skyroot from Chennai and Hyderabad -which are developing launch vehicles that will take small payloads into space. Through this, the cost of launch is estimated to come down significantly.
He also mentioned Hyderabad-based startup Dhruva Space that is working on high-technology solar panels for satellite deployers and satellites.
Narendra Modi talked about Tanveer Ahmed of Digantara, another space startup that is trying to map waste in space.
"I gave him a challenge to develop a technology that will help resolve the issue of space debris," he said. Both Digantara and Dhruva Aerospace are going to make their first payload launch by Isro's launch vehicle (PSLV-C53 rocket) on June 30, he said.
"Neha, the founder of Astrome, a space startup in Bengaluru, is working on an amazing idea. This startup is making such flat antennas that will not only be small, but their cost will also be very less. Demand for this technology can be all over the world," Modi said. He also mentioned Tanvi Patel, a school student of Mehsana who is working on a very small satellite, which is going to be launched in space in the next few months.
Modi said, "During one's childhood, stories of the moon and stars in the sky attract everyone. For the youth, touching the sky is synonymous with making dreams come true. Today, when our India is touching the sky of success in so many fields, how can the skies, or space, remain untouched by it!"