The Tamil Nadu government plans to set up a Space Industrial Park and Propellants Park near Thoothukudi to take advantage of the Centre’s move to build a new spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam in southern Tamil Nadu.
Kulasekarapattinam will be used by private companies to launch small satellites into orbit.
The state government has mandated the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) as the nodal agency for implementing the Defense Industries Corridor project to promote aerospace and defense industries in the state.
Tidco has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select a consultant to prepare a feasibility report for establishing a Space Industrial Park and Propellants Park.
Since its inception, the Indian space program has been developing satellites for communication and remote sensing, space transportation systems and application programs.
Two major operational systems have been established – Indian National Satellite (INSAT) for telecommunication, television broadcasting and meteorological services and Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) for monitoring and management of natural resources and disaster management support.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)’s lunar and interplanetary missions and other projects continue to generate critical scientific information that is of great value to the scientific community.
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In 2020, the Center allowed private companies to enter the space industry, which was under the full control of ISRO. The new policy aims to allow ISRO to focus on scientific space missions without engaging in routine activities like launching weather and communication satellites. The new policy seeks to harness the strengths of the private sector to make India one of the most self-reliant aerospace nations.
Small satellite markets
The global small satellite is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.4 percent and reach $13711.7 million by 2030 from $3215.9 million in 2020.
Considering the potential of the small satellite market, the Center has initiated work on setting up a new spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam.
The proposed industrial parks are expected to ease supply chain constraints for operations upstream of the Kulasekarapattinam spaceport. The Tamil Nadu government plans to link these industrial parks with allied industries in the state such as electronics, mechanical structures and propulsion chemicals.
Common test centres, common facility centers and centers of excellence will provide a support base for connected industries, the document said.
ISRO chairman, S Somanath, had last year said that work on the proposed spaceport at Kulasekarapattinam would begin only after getting mandatory clearances from the Center and security agencies.
2,376 acres of land including 141 acres of government land is planned to be acquired at Kulasekarapattinam. The state government has nominated eight tehsildars to complete the land acquisition process. As the land acquisition was completed, Somanath recently visited the proposed launch site at Kudal Nagar near Kulasekarapattinam.
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According to Srinath Ravichandran, co-founder and CEO of Agnikul Cosmos, Kulasekarapattinam is a sweet spot for launching small satellites. “There’s no land between that place and Antarctica, it’s a beautiful belt for launches. The rule is that you cannot fly over a land mass unless you are in orbit. When you are flying over Antarctica, you are in orbit,” says the CEO of the Chennai-based space start-up. line of business last november
“For orbit, you can either go parallel to the equator or perpendicular (pole to pole). Thumba is also equally good, and we will be interested. The idea is to go to a place that is best for the mission. We don’t want to be locked into a fixed infrastructure,” added Ravichandran.
A cargo truck and four caravans are required to launch small satellites, and Kulasekarapattinam is an ideal location, he said.
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