From left: Lt Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd), Director General ISpA, Jayant Patil, Chairman, ISpA, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Rahul Vatts, Vice Chairman, ISpA
Indian Space Association launched: OneWeb to harness ISRO launch vehicles

New Delhi, October 12 2021: The Indian Space Association (ISpA) - the premier industry association of space and satellite companies – was formally launched yesterday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 Speaking on the occasion Mr Modi said: “Today is the day the Indian space sector receives new wings. For 75 years since independence, Indian space has been dominated by a single umbrella of Indian government and government institutions. Scientists of India have made huge achievements in these decades, but the need of the hour is that there should be no restrictions on Indian talent, whether it is in the public sector or in the private sector. In a way, the country has given a new gift to the talent of India's entrepreneurs by opening up India's space sector in its 75th year of independence. Let this collective power of India’s population take the space sector forward in an organized manner. The Indian Space Association (ISpA) will play a huge role in this.” 
ISpA aims to contribute to the Government of India’s vision of making India Atmanirbhar and a global leader in the space arena, which is fast emerging as the next growth frontier for mankind. The association will engage with stakeholders across the ecosystem for the formulation of an enabling policy framework that fulfils the Government’s vision. ISpA will also work towards building global linkages for the Indian space industry to bring in critical technology and investments into the country to create more high skill jobs. 
ISpA is represented by leading home grown and global corporations with advanced capabilities in the space and satellite technologies. Its founding members include Bharti Airtel, Larson & Toubro, Nelco (Tata Group), OneWeb, Mapmyindia, Walchandnagar Industries and Alpha Design Technologies. Other core members include Godrej, Hughes India, Ananth Technology Limited, Azista-BST Aerospace Private Limited, BEL, Centum Electronics and  Maxar India.        
Jayant Patil, Whole time Director - Defence & Smart Technologies, L&T-NxT is the first Chairman of ISpA and Mr. Rahul Vatts, Chief Regulatory Officer Bharti Airtel and Director – OneWeb India is the Vice Chairman. Lt Gen. A.K. Bhatt (Retd) is the Director General of the Association. 
Mr Patil said: “India has the potential to become a technology leader and frugal service provider to the global space industry. Led by ISRO, the nation has built a formidable homegrown foundation for the next phase of growth and even launched the lowest cost mission to Moon and Mars. Globally, private enterprises are increasingly contributing to unlocking the possibilities of space. ISpA aims to be a forum of the space industry in the Indian private sector and partner the Government of India and other key stakeholders across space industry segments in making the nation self-reliant in the area as well as to become a global service provider. We thank the Hon’ble Prime Minister for his blessings to this initiative.”
According to ISRO, the current size of the global space economy stands at about USD 360 billion. However, India accounts for only about 2% of the space economy with a potential to capture 9% of the global market share by 2030.
OneWeb to use Indian satellite launch vehicles
On the sidelines of the iSpA inauguration, Airtel CEO Sunil Bharti Mittal said OneWeb will use ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III rockets for the launch of satellites from Indian soil. “OneWeb will be the first customer which starts to bring a commercial position into the Indian space market”, he added, “OneWeb will deliver connectivity to every square inch of the country, and will be providing its services in India by the middle of next year.”
“By late 2022, OneWeb will offer its high-speed, low latency connectivity services in India and the rest of the world. Service testing on the satellites already in orbit is underway” said a OneWeb statement. 
OneWeb is building its initial constellation of 648 LEO satellites and has already put 322 satellites into orbit. It plans to start services this year to the Arctic region including Alaska, Canada, and the UK and in the second half of 2022 in India.