India 2020's Space Ambitions & Leadership
Lunar Explorations and Global Cooperation
India is a growing leader in the exploration of space. Of particular interest is India's many lunar exploration successes. India is providing vital data from its multi-year Chandrayaan-2 mission that is now orbiting the Moon. The images are being provided to the NASA-led Artemis program, which is a multinational effort to put astronauts back on the Moon by 2024. The images of the surface of the Moon are vital to determine the best landing spot on the Moon for the next team of astronauts. Back in 2009, India was the first to discover ice deposits on the surface of the Moon. In 2021, it plans to launch Chandrayaan-3 that will include another landing attempt. Their Vikram lander failed to land safely on the Moon as part of the C-2 mission.
US-India Space Cooperation Accelerating
President Trump in his late February 2020 trip to India praised India's many space exploration and technology accomplishments and pledged growing cooperation on space endeavors with India. NASA and India's space agency IRSO will launch a new satellite in 2022, the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite, that will monitor the Earth for floods, glacial changes and soil moisture -- natural events triggered by Climate Change. The US and India are also discussing cooperation on planetary exploration, more Earth observations, heliophysics which is the science of the Sun, human spaceflight and the commercial development of space.
Big Plans for Satellite Launches
India's space plans for the 2020's include large numbers of satellite launches. They will launch 10 Earth observation satellites starting in April 2020. Also they'll launch highly advanced optical, multi and hyperspectral and synthetic aperture radar satellites. Also being launched during 2020 and 2021 are three communications satellites and two navigations satellites.
India In Orbit for the 2020's
India's space plans are big and ambitious. They are vying for a leadership role alongside the US, Europe, China and Russia. Just for 2020, they have a budget of $2 billion, big accomplishments, big plans and big ambitions.
India's Gaganyaan Human Space Flight Program
A big piece of technology for India's space ambitions is its GSLV Mk111 rocket. An unmanned test flight will take place in December 2020 and a second in July 2021. India wants to send a three member crew into a low Earth orbit for 5 to 7 days. They are also working on a reusable launch vehicle with the aim of developing a winged body vehicle similar to an aircraft.