This Article First Appeared In News 18 On April 28, 2023
On November 5, 2013, India made history when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan). With a shoestring budget of just $74 million—less than the cost of producing the Hollywood movie “Gravity”—India astounded the world by becoming the first country to reach Mars on its maiden attempt. This remarkable achievement not only showcased India’s growing space capabilities but also highlighted the nation’s potential to become a major player in the global space arena.
Surprisingly, India managed to reach this stage without a comprehensive space policy. Over the years, the nation’s space programme had primarily been driven by ad-hoc decisions and the visionary leadership of its space scientists. However, as the space landscape evolved and new commercial opportunities emerged, the need for a cohesive and strategic policy framework became increasingly evident.