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Kalam warns of shrinking space market
Fakir Chand in Bangalore |
January 05, 2003 01:15 IST
President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday warned the global space community that the market for information satellites is shrinking.
Kalam, who has been closely associated with the development of India's satellite and missile technologies, was addressing delegates at the 90th Indian Science Congress in Bangalore.
"The geostationary orbit is nearly full and new earth orbits need study and exploration, especially the use of small satellites in equatorial low-earth orbits," he said.
Currently, around 200 tonnes of satellites can be launched every year. The forecast demand, however, will consume less than half of this capacity. Kalam said that a price war is on to capture this limited market.
Expressing concern over the exponential cost of space missions and the prevailing disequilibrium in the industry, Kalam said the prohibitive cost of access to space forbids expansion of activities. No exit strategy is possible for such a vast and prestigious industry as new missions are yet to be formulated, he added.
"To overcome this state of disequilibrium, the space fraternity should launch a global cooperative movement to integrate the nations with capabilities. This calls for a reduction of cost of access to enable the space community move out of the era of information missions into an era of mass missions and find solutions for energy, water and mineral crises, which will soon engulf mankind."
Lauding India's achievements, Kalam said the country will emerge as one of the leaders in space activities.
"The Indian concept of hyper-plane, a fully reuseable system, is an innovation in rocketry providing a payload fraction of 15 per cent, drastically reducing the launch cost to one-fiftieth of the current cost elsewhere.
"It makes enormous economic sense for countries to join hands with India and launch major universal missions to share the benefit of space to the entire mankind, rather than compete commercially. Such an effort will also narrow the difference between the developing and developed nations as opportunities for the global space community lie in the creation of new markets."
The President felt that India has the infrastructure and expertise to use space for sustainable economic development. Its experience can be used by other countries for their socioeconomic development under common global missions."