India to support Bhutan’s 2021 satellite launch

A small satellite named INS-2B is to be jointly developed by India and Bhutan for launch in 2021

November 28, 2020

Four Bhutanese engineers are to be trained from December 28, 2020 to February 25, 2021 by ISRO.

India is to also aid in capacity building and provide the engineers with a training module that includes testing and lab activity.

Spot 6 and 7 satellites and the GSAT-31 satellite are examples of SpaceTech innovations arising from bilateral cooperation.

The development of Gaganyaan, India’s first manned space mission, is being developed in collaboration with Russia.

India and Bhutan are to jointly take on the development of INS-2B, a small satellite in 2021. As part of this process, four Bhutanese engineers are to be trained in two phases from  December 28, 2020 to February 25, 2021 under the leadership of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The training modules will encompass theoretical knowledge supplemented by testing and laboratory-based activity. Subsequently, India is also to play an active role in guiding the engineers as the satellite is being developed and offering capacity building. India and Bhutan enjoy amicable bilateral ties that have resulted in quality strides in Space Technology.  A satellite technology powered geo-portal for Bhutan and the launch of the Ground Earth Station of the South Asia Satellite (SAS) are two key bilateral movements taken up as part of advancement in space technology. 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which leads India’s endeavors in space exploration and technology, has expertise in a wide range of domains including the development of satellites and launch vehicles for purposes including environment monitoring, meteorology, and communication. India has collaborated with European and American powers in order to discuss safety and sustainability within the context of space exploration and stand by the mission to embark upon space exploration solely for peaceful purposes. India and France have notably participated in the development and launch of prestigious projects including the Spot 6 and 7 satellites and the GSAT-31 satellite. 2019 saw the announcement of an India-Russia collaboration towards the development of Gaganyaan, India’s first manned mission which is expected to be launched in 2022. 

Experts highlight the need for India to formulate a strategic and comprehensive policy that will delineate national priorities with regard to space exploration, especially in a multilateral context. Furthermore, the drafting of a national regulatory framework for the SpaceTech start-up ecosystem would be greatly beneficial for the sector at large. Strategic policymaking complemented by crucial multilateral partnerships and a strong R&D ecosystem can help elevate the space exploration, technological, and diplomatic landscape in India.