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The competition heats up: India’s space agency celebrated its 100th launch today.
It is unclear whether the numbers include their failed launches. Regardless, India has a vibrant space program, modeled somewhat after the Russian system, a government space agency focused on gaining commercial market share. Whether that model can successfully compete in the commercial world remains unknown. Russia has had success, but only during a period when they were faced with few competitors. Now that the competition is heating up it is unclear whether Russia’s model will be flexible enough to compete.
What is clear about India, however, is that they are passionate about space exploration. Historically, even the Russian government model has worked when the country using it was the new kid on the block.