The fifth edition of India’s biggest and only Space Expo began on the 1st of September at the Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) off Tumkur Road. The event called BSX 2016 saw enthusiastic participation from Bangalore’s scientific community and is open to the public until this Saturday.
The event saw a host of luminaries from India’s mostly public sector aerospace companies delivering talks and interacting with professionals from India’s nascent private space sector. More than a dozen space focused startups with ambitious plans had set up stalls detailing their plans for satellite fabrication and space missions. Venture Capitalists were also present in full force evaluating potential companies for investment.
With a nationwide Bharat Bandh declared for 2nd of September, the event saw only ten percent of the expected footfalls on the second day. ISRO which is organizing the conference in partnership with CII occupied almost half the exhibition space with it’s mammoth stall showcasing it’s history and products.
ISRO is looking to partner with private companies in tech transfer and capacity building to help the space sector eco-system take off in India. It organized a workshop on the fabrication of small satellites globally and how Indian companies can take the lead in this emerging market.
The MD of Antrix Corporation Mr Rakesh took questions from the audience and assured them of ISRO’s complete co-operation for helping them scale up and gain a foot hold in the lucrative satellite fabrication market. He also talked about ISRO’s record breaking attempt at launching 64 satellites expected to take place later this year.
There was also plenty of discussion about the emerging dynamics of co-operation between PSU’s and startups. Startups are expected to take the lead in opening up public access to space as they are unhindered by public bureaucracy that has proved a stumbling block at many PSU’s. They can also take a greater risk because they are not accountable to the government like PSU’s.
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
The IRNSS was a hot topic at the event. The constellation consisting of seven satellites is expected to be ready by next year and will be a game changer in navigation once it is fully operational. The roll out of NavIC is expected to boost communication and make technology affordable across India.
The Indian Space sector is all geared up to reach stratospheric heights in the coming years and the pioneers will remember this expo as the place where it all began.
Given below are a few glimpses of the event and conference.
The final day of the conference is dedicated to startups and will feature talks by Indian Space startups like Dhruva Space, Astrome Technologies, Axiom Laboratories and Planet Labs USA. Updates from day 3 of the expo will be published tomorrow.