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North India Home to Below 10% of Spacetech Startups Of the total 69 spacetech startups in the country, only five are based out of North India

By Soumya Duggal

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Last year proved to be particularly fruitful for Indian spacetech startups, with Skyroot Aerospace, Agnikul Cosmos and Pixxel, among others, conducting successful rocket, satellite and launchpad launches respectively. If you're wondering why such positive news appears to be the exclusive mandate of South Indian companies, you're not alone. North India, for instance, is home to only five of the total 69 spacetech startups in the country, which is not even a ten per cent share of the whole pie.

Notably, just last week, the director general of the Indian Space Association (ISpA), Lt Gen AK Bhatt (Retd), told News18 that startups needed to grow in other parts of the country, including the northern regions of India, somewhere close to support systems such as the IITs.

"At present all space startups are mostly from cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, but opportunities for ecosystem development are there in Uttar Pradesh also," he said, adding, "the (state) government has introduced the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor and they are also keen to have space startups in the state while providing the needed support."

According to data compiled by market intelligence platform Tracxn, the five startups based in the country's North are ABYOM, Satpalda, Synodic Space Settlement, SatNow and SpaceStation Automation.

Abyom

Founded in 2020, Abyom aims to incorporate reliability in space exploration. The bootstrapped startup is currently working towards developing a Re-ignition Liquid Engine for India's first Reusable Launch Vehicle. "The applications of this mission extend to meteorology, weather forecasting, microgravity experiments, basic and applied biological research, agritech data, media advertising and other research," claims its website. Based out Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Abyom experiments in the D and E atmospheres.

Satpalda

With over 20 years of experience in providing geospatial services, New Delhi-based Satpalda claims to specialize in using digital maps and location analytics to collect the requisite data. "Established in 2002, we have a proven track record of successfully completing a wide range of photogrammetric and remote sensing projects for a variety of sectors. We are committed to providing end-to-end innovative geospatial solutions that enable businesses to achieve a competitive advantage," states Satpalda on its website. The company's services include high-resolution satellite imagery, terrain modelling, web GIS, 3D city modelling and more and it has a branch office in Ghaziabad.

Synodic Space Settlement

This Dehradun-headquartered startup is working on developing a self-sustaining space settlement system, which could be inhabited by around 12,500 people at one time. Its drone technology department focuses on the development of proprietary technology for multi-functional drones for both civil and military purposes. "We also focus on making space education available to all," notes Synodic Space Settlement on its website, adding that it makes resources and knowledge accessible through online courses, events, webinars, seminars, competitions, workshops etc. The bootstrapped startup was founded in 2020.

SatNow

Founded in 2005, this Delhi-based bootstrapped company has built an e-commerce platform for space products and equipment. Its product portfolio includes thermal infrared micro-cameras, micro-vibration dampers, redundancy switches, shield inductors, frequency doublers, coaxial fixed attenuators and analogue-digital converters. It also tracks space-related news on its website.

SpaceStation Automation

New Delhi-based SpaceStation Automation was founded in 2020 as a developer of tech hardware for space stations. It also provides space technology, IT services, drones, robots, automation services, IoT and embedded systems.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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