India developing space weapons Daily Tech, “ India to Enter Space Weapons Race With Lasers, Killer Payloads” by Jason Mick , January 13, 2010, http://www.dailytech.com/India+to+Enter+Space+Weapons+Race+With+Lasers+Killer+Payloads/article17392.htm
Now India has joined the game of militarization of space. The director-general of India's defense research organization on Jan. 3 told the press that his country was currently working on an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle and lasers, which could be combined to destroy enemy satellites. V.K. Saraswat, director-general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is part of India's Ministry of Defence, elaborated, "The kill vehicle, which is needed for intercepting the satellite, needs to be developed, and that work is going on as part of the ballistic missile defense program." The onboard lasers would not be used as a high energy weapon, but rather as a positioning device to make sure a destructive payload was delivered to the target. Mr. Saraswat explains, "[The laser] will be able to give you a concrete picture of the satellite, and use that picture to guide your kill vehicle towards that. That work has yet to be done." If the efforts of China, the U.S., Russia, and now India are any indication, it appears that past human wars on the land and on sea may only be a prelude to wars in outer space; the sweeping stellar battles of science fiction tales such as Star Wars may one day become reality. For now, though, space warfare is unlikely because there's little to be gained from it in terms of resources. However, if man has not learned to coexist more peacefully by the time we begin to colonize other celestial bodies and mine their resources, tensions may boil over and successor of these space weapons -- now mere novelties -- may see use.
India Solvency: Solar Powered Satellites (1/2)
India Sovles: Has Key Tech for SBSP Jeff Foust, Aerospace Analyst, November 8, 2010. “Space solar power’s- Indian connection” http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1721/1 July 13, 2011.
India’s role in SBSP Those 1970s-era studies also assumed that the United States would be the lead, if not only, nation involved in the development of SBSP systems: a rational assumption at the time given the capabilities of other spacefaring nations. However, just as technologies have advanced during the last three decades, so have the capabilities—and energy needs—of other nations, opening up opportunities for cooperation not envisioned three decades ago. One example formally announced at a Washington, DC, press conference on Thursday by the National Space Society is the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative. The project is a joint venture that plans to bring together American and Indian experts to discuss technologies associated with SBSP at a bilateral meeting planned for next May in Huntsville, Alabama, in conjunction with the International Space Development Conference, the annual conference of the NSS. What gives this effort added prominence is one of the Indian supporters of the effort: Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India. Kalam worked on missile and space programs in India before becoming president in 2002, earning the nickname “Missile Man of India”. He promoted India’s space efforts during his five-year tenure as president and is now lending his name and interest to this new effort. “I have been proposing that large missions, like bringing space solar power to the Earth, would need the combined efforts of nations,” Kalam said, speaking by phone from India. His interest in SBSP, he said, came from a need to meet India’s growing energy requirements while moving away from fossil fuels. “We need to graduate from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.” While the idea of cooperation between the two countries on space solar power has been brought up in the past (see “Should India and the US cooperate on space solar power?”, The Space Review, June 8, 2009), the concept was discussed in detail more recently in an August 2010 white paper by Peter Garretson, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who had a fellowship at India’s Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. In the paper, he outlined the concept of solar power from space and how it might serve to advance the strategic partnership between the United States and India. In the paper, Garretson calls for a three-stage joint effort for development of an SBSP system, after an initial (“stage 0”) creation of a bilateral framework: a technology development study, development of a demonstration system, and then full-fledged production. While the final stage would cost tens of billions of dollars, Garretson wrote that the technology study stage could be done for only $10–30 million over about five years. Why should the two countries cooperate on SBSP, though? At Thursday’s press conference, NSS CEO Mark Hopkins noted that the two countries have “so much in common”, ranging from a shared colonial history to strong public interest in space. Both also have growing energy requirements, especially in India as that populous nation modernizes, and SBSP could meet those needs and more. “India and the United States can become major net exporters of energy,” he said. “Basically, you’re talking about a combination of American technology and the ability of India to do a lot of low-cost manufacturing,” Hopkins said. It was less clear, though, at Thursday’s press conference, what exactly India could bring to the table in terms of technologies and other capabilities to enable SBSP. Asked what India could provide, Kalam spoke about the development of what he called a “hyperplane”, a reusable spaceplane that could greatly lower the costs of space access. “For solar power satellite success, we need a launch vehicle system… which can bring down the costs from $20,000 to $2,000 a kilogram,” he said. The Indian space agency ISRO has been studying a spaceplane concept called Avatar that would use a combination of ramjet, scramjet, and rocket engines to achieve orbit, but has yet to begin flight tests of even subscale technology demonstrators. Given the difficulties India has faced with less complex launch vehicle technologies, such as cryogenic upper stages for expendable launchers (the first flight of an indigenously-developed cryogenic upper stage for its GSLV launcher failed in April of this year), as well as the technology challenges of RLV development as demonstrated by past US efforts, it suggests that the “hyperplane” may be many years in the future. T.K. Alex, director of the ISRO Satellite Centre and the Indian leader of the Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative, said later at the press conference that India could also contribute technology in the area of high-efficiency and lightweight solar panels. Hopkins, though, suggested India’s role might be in helping keep system costs down. “Basically, you’re talking about a combination of American technology and the ability of India to do a lot of low-cost manufacturing,” he said. The press conference took place the day before President Barack Obama left on a three-day visit to India. That trip is expected to include some announcements related to space, including the removal of ISRO from the U.S. “Entity List” for high-tech exports, a step that would remove one obstacle for American companies seeking to export some items to India. However, SBSP is not expected to be on the agenda of meetings between Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Kalam suggested that it instead be brought up at a future meeting of G8 or G20 nations. Whether these efforts—the IAA study and the Kalam-NSS initiative—give new life to SBSP remains to be seen. Space solar power has been largely out of the mainstream of discussion in both the space and energy fields for decades (see “Blinded by the light”, The Space Review, June 7, 2010), and official support—and funding—for such work has been in short supply. Comebacks, though, are always possible, if the right circumstances arise. After all, Jerry Brown was elected governor of California on Tuesday.
India is key to SPS development – 4 reasons
4. India will have the manpower necessary Jessica Glover, Joseph S. Nye Jr. Research Intern, “For U.S.-India Cooperation, Space is the Next Frontier” CNAS, November 11, 2010, http://www.cnas.org/blogs/naturalsecurity/2010/11/us-india-cooperation-space-next-frontier.html.
As President Obama continues his tour through Asia this week, including Monday’s remarks in India, foreign policy-watchers have suggested a number of ways to improve and revitalize the India-U.S. relationship – including our very own CNAS colleagues. Importantly, President Obama himself emphasized the interplay between technology, new energy, and greater security during his address to the Indian Parliament. The final frontier – outer space – is one arena where some experts see potential collaboration between the United States and India. A November report issued by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in India, The Sky’s No Limit laid out the potential for U.S.-Indian efforts on space based solar power (SBSP). If such technology can be developed, SBSP could be a remarkable future source of clean energy. The concept centers on placing satellites in geosynchronous orbit, capturing solar rays before their energy is diluted by the Earth’s atmosphere, turning this captured energy into microwave energy, and literally beaming it down to Earth-based receivers that could transform it into electricity. The IDSA report outlines, on page 67, four reasons why promoting India-U.S. cooperation on space based solar power makes sense at this juncture: Firstly, India is the only major state where a Head of State has not only suggested space solar power as a goal for its space agency, but also expressed an interest in international cooperation. Second, as already noted above, there is considerable momentum in the Indo-US strategic partnership, with key components–space, energy, climate change, high tech, aviation, and dual use strategic technologies and defence cooperation–already in place with vibrant dialogue. Third, India’s need for power and development is acute, likely considerably more acute than other potential partners which makes it potentially a more motivated partner, and a linked effort also promises a tremendous ultimate market potential. Fourthly, the success of space solar power will depend partly on low-cost manufacture. In the time frame when space solar power will come of age, perhaps 15 years in the future, even as other manufacturing and labour markets age and face decline, India is projected to be in the midst of its demographic dividend, with the largest working age population of any country on earth. Despite real concerns over cost and feasibility, as well as a noted lack of legal frameworks surrounding potential international cooperation, a report advising the U.S. Department of Defense in 2007 regarded India as a potential partner for future development of SBSP alongside Japan and the European Space Agency.