Human endeavours in space over the past six decades have reached a stage that just about every facet of human life today has some complement of space capability contributing to it, encompassing the entire spectrum from telecommunications, navigation, weather forecasting, remote sensing, broadcasting and disaster management. Space exploration actually owes its origins to matters military, with civil applications coming about as a by-product. Capability building in space thereafter has witnessed frenzied progress, in the spheres of both the military and the civil/commercial.
With an ever increasing number of countries joining the space bandwagon, space is getting congested and competitive. International legislation on space, though well meaning, is largely viewed to be inadequate to address the concerns of equitable access to space and more alarmingly, is reticent on the issue of militarisation and weaponisation.
The Indian presence in the global space order is rather significant. Ranking sixth globally in terms of space budget and technological ca pability, India is capable of going beyond its calling. Its multi-dimensional space programme spans almost the entire spectrum from space launch to satellite construction and their employment in a large array of development-centric applications, and in recent years, in missions beyond the Earth. The Mangalyaan mission to Mars currently underway symbolises India’s indigenous technological prowess and is a harbinger of its capability of cementing its status as a responsible space player at the global level.
India, thus, stands today, technologically robust and self-reliant – well poised in the global space order to look beyond its domestic charter and address the concerns of the international global community. Space legislation, situational awareness and international cooperation in space security are some of the geostrategic options analysed in this book, which could facilitate Indian positioning in the global space order.
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