EXC| Space station, manned moon, Mars missions in pipeline: ISpA chief

NEW DELHI | Updated: 10 October, 2023 2:34 pm IST
Head of Indian Space Association, LT. Gen A K Bhatt, in an exclusive chat with 'The New Indian'

NEW DELHI: The Indian Space Conclave 2023, orchestrated by the Indian Space Association (ISpA), has commenced its second edition with a mission to elevate collaboration, stimulate innovation, and nurture strategic alliances within the swiftly evolving space sector. Unfolding from October 9 to 11, this three-day event attracted prominent figures from both the British and French space industries, underscoring its global importance.


In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, “Lieutenant General AK Bhat, the head of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), shared his perspective on the event, stating, “This conclave is a significant platform for deepening collaboration, fostering innovation, and establishing strategic partnerships within the burgeoning space sector.”


Head of Indian Space Conclave 2023, LT. Gen. A K Bhatt engage in an exclusive chat with ‘The New Indian’


Highlighting the historic cooperation between India and France in space exploration, Bhat said, “France has been a valuable partner since the inception of India’s space programme. They supported us with our first rockets launched in India and played a pivotal role in the development of the Viking engine.”


Discussing the theme “Bhumandal se Brahmand tak” (From Earth to the Universe), Bhat expressed his vision for India and France, stating, “We envision a broader collaboration between our nations, spanning from industry to industry. With India opening its space sector to industry two years ago, we see significant opportunities for cooperation in launch vehicles, satellites, and applications. This two-way sharing of knowledge and markets will provide ample opportunities in the future.”


Speaking about the “INDO-FRANCE synergy plan,” Bhat emphasised, “In space technology, including satellite manufacturing and launch vehicles, there are critical components that are not produced in India. This plan will allow our industry to fill those gaps and also enable Indian products, especially cost-efficient applications, to find use in global markets, including France and Europe.”


Thierry Mathou, the Ambassador of France to India, and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet bring their distinguished presence to the conclave



READ MORE: Indian Space Conclave 2023 spurs collaboration between India and France


During the interview, Bhat also spoke about the involvement of private companies in advancing the space sector and expressed that profitability becomes a driving factor for innovation when companies are engaged. Their emphasis on market profitability expedites progress, making it a pivotal element in the advancement of the space industry.



When asked about India’s future space endeavours after Chandrayaan 3, General Bhat revealed that the next milestones include human space flight, the development of an Indian space station, potential manned missions to the moon, and even aspirations for Mars and beyond.


Lastly, addressing young aspiring space enthusiasts, Bhat opined, “Now is the right time to join the space sector, as it is opening up with immense opportunities. Just as the IT sector was a few decades ago, today, the space sector offers a bright future. Young people should focus on studying subjects that can make them part of India’s exciting space journey.”

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