The President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam while addressing from the Rashtrapati Bhavan multi-media studio today, the Symposium on “The Future of Space Exploration” organised by Boston University in Boston, said space research is truly inter-disciplinary and has enabled true innovations at the intersection of multiple areas of science and engineering. It has been consistently aiming at the “impossible” and the “incredible”, every time moving the frontiers of our knowledge forward. Dr. Kalam felt space exploration is almost a “Green Technology”. Its greatest asset is that in many cases what is perfected as a space technology it becomes a technology that enhances the quality of human life on the earth.

The President said, civilization will run out of fossil fuels in this Century. However, Solar energy is clean and inexhaustible. However solar flux on earth is available for just 6-8 hours every day whereas incident radiation on space solar power station would be 24 hrs every day. What better vision can there be for the future of space exploration, than participating in a global mission for perennial supply of renewable energy from space, he asked.

Turning to the developments in space technology in India, he said earth observation satellites having unique resolution are being deployed for the survey of water bodies, their continuous activation so that water storage during rainy season is maximized. Establishing new water supply sources using advanced reverse osmosis technologies for sea water desalination on large scales is a cost effective method of providing a new source of safe and fresh drinking water. However, desalination is an energy intensive process. Hence, the use of renewable energy through space solar satellites can bring down the cost of fresh water substantially. Discussing specific priority areas, the President said, While new design practices and technologies are constantly increasing the life of satellites, there is a requirement for extending their life through in-orbit maintenance. This calls for creation of Space Satellite Service Stations.

Dr. Kalam felt that mankind’s 21st Century thrust into space would herald the world’s next industrial revolution. The possible drivers for such a Space Industrial Revolution would be:- Man’s quest for perennial sources of clean energy such as solar and other renewable energies and thermonuclear fusion. Helium 3 from Moon is seen as a valuable fuel for thermonuclear reactors.

Mining in planets or asteroids would need innovative methods for exploring, processing and transporting large quantities of rare materials to Earth. The Moon could become a potential transportation hub for interplanetary travel. With interplanetary communication systems located on the far side, the Moon would also shield these communication stations from continuous radio emissions from Earth.

The Moon also has other advantages as a source of construction materials for near Earth orbit, he said.

Low gravity manufacturing holds tremendous promise for mankind in new materials and medicines the President felt.

Concluding his speech the President laid out space missions before the year 2050.

1. Evolving a Global Strategic Plan for space industrialization so as to crea

2. Implementing a Global Partnership Mission in advanced space transportation, charged with the goal of reducing the cost of access to space by two orders of magnitude to US $ 200 per kg.

3. Developing and deploying in-orbit Space Satellite Service Stations for enhancing the life of spacecraft in GEO as a permanent international facility.