Space industrial parks planned near the upcoming spaceport 

The spaceport will also facilitate the growth of industries such as navigation and space-enabled agriculture, says the Minister.
| Photo Credit: File photo

The Tamil Nadu government will establish dedicated space industrial parks in the vicinity of the upcoming spaceport at Kulasekharapatnam, a small town panchayat in Thoothukudi.

“Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (TIDCO) is in discussions with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to enhance the efficiency of the spaceport through geographic shrinking of the supply chain network. We would help ISRO have its suppliers in the close vicinity by establishing dedicated space industrial parks,” Minister for Industries Thangam Thennarasu said at an interaction with The Hindu. “This would evolve as the project moves forward,” he said.

Highlighting that the spaceport project will transform the economy of this region, the Minister said there are other related industries — the fabrication of components for rockets and satellite manufacturing and assembly, among others — which would provide more economic value if they are housed in and around the spaceport. “This project would also facilitate the growth of downstream industries such as navigation, space-enabled agriculture and location-based services,” he said, adding that the State government will extend any support to this project.

It is learnt that the government, through TIDCO, is in talks with many space-related companies for bringing them to this region. TIDCO and Tamil Nadu Emerging Sector Seed Fund would also be willing to invest in the equity of space-related companies that evince interest in coming to this region.

Mr. Thennarasu said the global market for space launches is projected to be a multi-billion one. “At present, it is estimated to be $14 billion. It is estimated to grow to $32 billion by 2030. India’s market share is less than 2%. With the spaceport coming up at Kulasekharapatnam, India can target about 10% of the space launch market, which would be worth $3 billion, and Tamil Nadu could easily achieve $2 billion out of this,” he added.

The total requirement of land for the project is about 2,300 acres. And 2,100 acres has been acquired. The acquisition of the last portion of the land is under way.

ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said recently that construction would commence soon. ISRO will launch satellites weighing less than 500 kg on its Small Satellite Launch Vehicles from this spaceport.

Guided by Captain Kirk 

Before signing off, the Minister said, “If I may modify the quote of Captain Kirk of Star Trek — “Our mission is to help organisations to explore space and to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

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