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"Elon Musk has brought new and disruptive technologies in many domains", says Indian Space Association DG

New Delhi: Director General of the Indian Space Association, Lt Gen Anil Kumar Bhatt (Retd), extended a warm welcome to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's forthcoming visit to India.

Lt Gen Bhatt emphasized the potential for enhanced collaboration between Indian space entities and Musk's ventures, foreseeing a transformative impact on India's space ecosystem.

In an exclusive conversation with ANI on Wednesday, Lt Gen AK Bhatt (Retd) highlighted Elon Musk's pioneering contributions to the domain of space technology, particularly through his companies such as SpaceX.

Bhatt said, "Firstly, as you know, Elon Musk, he has brought new and disruptive technologies in many domains, and to be specific in the domain of space, where he has been able to get a new space revolution and I call it a new space revolution because space which was the domain of sovereigns, governments came into the private sector with people like Elon Musk.”

He added, “He has brought in the concept of SpaceX where the price over launches have been reduced significantly. So he's coming to India of course as I understand is one is for Tesla which is the EV vehicle, which will provide opportunities in India. manufacturing will take place, jobs will come in, and of course, the Indian user will get the best car available in the world and in space also, because he has led disruptive technologies and also motivated many of our startups.

Regarding Starlink's potential to address India's connectivity gaps, Lt Gen Bhatt emphasized the significance of satellite communication in extending broadband access to remote areas where terrestrial infrastructure is limited. He anticipated that Starlink, along with other providers like OneWeb, could play a crucial role in bridging the digital divide across India.

Additionally, Lt Gen Bhatt acknowledged Musk's enterprise, Starlink, which offers satellite communication services from low Earth orbit, as an innovative solution for addressing connectivity challenges in India's remote and underserved regions.

“It is always welcome when he comes. His enterprise of Starlink which already is there and provides satellite communication from the low earth orbit all over the world. Space as we already know from the open domain information Starlink is also applied for license in India. We see that also moving forward. what it gives is SAT communication from another means in India. OneWeb we are also ready with their 640 satellites, to provide SATCOM from low Earth orbit. And this will be another player, giving more opportunities to the Indian user”, Bhatt further said.

Discussing the implications of Musk's visit to India, Lt Gen Bhatt underscored the prospects for Tesla's entry into the Indian electric vehicle market, potentially fostering job creation and manufacturing opportunities while providing Indian consumers access to cutting-edge automotive technology.

Elaborating on the relevance of Elon Musk's ventures for India's space sector, Lt Gen Bhatt highlighted the Indian government's decision to open the space industry to private participation, inspired in part by the transformative impact of Musk's initiatives in the United States.

He expressed optimism regarding potential collaborations between Indian startups and Musk's companies, envisaging mutually beneficial partnerships in space technology development.

Bhatt said, “You know, the government of India in June 2020 decided that space should be open to private sectors. And one of the triggers for that was what revolution Elon Musk had brought in USA. after this we also had an idea and we should look at our new startup, our private sector to be a major player in the space world. So he who has led the new space revolution is coming in. It is it is good that he would be speaking to our prime minister and maybe thinking of an enterprises in India.”

Responding to reports of Indian space startups being invited to meet Elon Musk, Lt Gen Bhatt acknowledged Musk's role as a source of motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs in the space industry.

He anticipated fruitful interactions between Indian startups and Musk, potentially paving the way for collaborative ventures and knowledge exchange.

Bhatt said, “As you know, the stalk of connectivity in India, but large parts of India are not connected by broadband and they are denied many of the privileges today which broadband communication gives be it Andaman, be it borders like Leh and Ladakh, some portion of the country in central India, where the cost of sending fibre or having terrestrial communication is very high. The best means of communication is by satellite communication and Starlink and like as I said OneWeb because they already there, they are the people who are providing the services to Indian user.”

Lt Gen Bhat also expressed confidence in the potential for synergistic collaborations between Indian and international entities to drive innovation and propel India's space industry to new heights.

Bhatt said, “They are ready and especially the private companies. They have the calibre and the capability to be able to do links up and collaborations with Elon Musk's companies that is SpaceX and Starlink.” 

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