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India’s recent achievement in the Chandrayaan-3 mission has opened up exciting opportunities. NASA has expressed interest in the mission’s technology, and partnerships with global private space companies are in the works. Fast forward to 2024, and India is collaborating with one of the biggest players in the space industry, owned by none other than Elon Musk.

As per a Reuters report, India is set to launch a communications satellite using SpaceX’s Falcon-9 rocket later this year. This marks the beginning of a partnership with Musk’s company, as he aims to expand his ventures in India.

The Purpose of the Satellite:

The communication satellite has a crucial mission—to enhance broadband communication in remote and unconnected regions of India. NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of India’s space agency, is overseeing this venture. The launch is scheduled for the second quarter of this year. Notably, the satellite weighs 4,700kg, surpassing the current launching capacity of 4,000kg by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). NSIL will fully own, operate, and fund the GSAT-20 high-throughput satellite, providing a capacity of 48Gbps.

Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites:

Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently launched six direct-to-cell satellites, promising global connectivity and eliminating dead zones on Earth. Musk has expressed his desire to bring Starlink satellite broadband to India. However, this venture requires deals with Indian telecom operators.

SpaceX has ambitious plans to launch about 840 direct-to-mobile phone satellites over the next six months. These satellites will enable text access starting this year and provide voice and data for LTE phones globally from 2025.

Beyond Space:

Elon Musk’s involvement in India goes beyond space exploration. Talks are underway regarding an investment proposal for Tesla to establish a factory for manufacturing electric vehicles in India. This reflects Musk’s broader interest in contributing to India’s technological and industrial landscape.

In essence, India’s space journey is not only marking milestones in missions but also forging key collaborations with global leaders, setting the stage for advancements in communication and possibly electric vehicles on the home front.

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