India’s space program gets a huge budget boost

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The competition heats up: The new budget of India’s new conservative government under Narendra Modi has given its space program a 50 percent increase.

It appears that there were increases across the board, including a gigantic increase for their GSLV rocket as well as their manned program.

It also appears that Modi is following in the path of George Bush, at least when it comes to space. He might be a conservative, pro private enterprise and anti-big government, but his approach to building a space industry is decidedly Soviet in style, pumping funds into government agencies so that they can build the rockets and spacecraft. For the moment at least, private companies will be the servants to India’s government space program, not the masters.

In the U.S. and Russia this approach worked for the first generation of rockets and spacecraft, but then ended up a lead weight for later generations. I suspect we shall see the same history play out in India.


One comment

  • Edward

    Are the Indian private companies in a position to do much space work? Even in the US, it took a while for our private companies to be able to do basic rocket building — but then those companies (e.g. Armadillo and the late Kisler) had to compete with the government’s rockets, in the 1990s.

    There is a time for government-sponsored space programs, and a time for the government to let its industries do the basic work (e.g. commercial satellites and rocket launches), while the government continues some of the advanced research (not all research: e.g. SpaceX is researching reusable first stages).

    If India is doing it wrong, then they need to reorganize. If they are doing it right, so far, then they need to do better than the US did, when their industrial base is ready to take over.

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