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Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday said India is well-positioned to be a key player in the global space sector in the coming years with its robust space programme and a growing pool of skilled professionals.

He said this while addressing the 12th Convocation of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The Vice President said that ambitious missions, groundbreaking discoveries, and steadfast commitment to scientific advancement define India’s journey in space exploration.

“In the field of space, our recent accomplishments have earned global accolades. In the year 2023, all seven launches of ISRO including Chandrayaan-3, and Aditya L-1, were successful,” VP Dhankhar said.

“A total of 5 Indian satellites, 46 foreign satellites, and 8 rocket bodies (including POEM-2) were placed in their intended orbits. All this just in one year,” he added.

He credited the achievements to the efforts of scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and said they “underscore India’s technical prowess and determination to explore the uncharted territories of space”.

“It is because of ISRO only, that Bharat can proudly boast of being the world’s first country to successfully land Chandrayaan 3 on the south pole of Moon,” he said.

“ISRO has etched Shiv Shakti point (the landing site of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon) and Tricolour (the lunar surface where Chandrayaan-2 left its footprints) on the Moon. The moment will ever be etched in history and deeply embedded in our proud pleasant thoughts,” the VP said.

Further, he also mentioned India’s successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), with which India became the first Asian country “to reach Martian orbit and the first in the world to do so in its maiden attempt”.

The VP noted that with each space mission — be it India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1, or upcoming ambitious human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan — India has been “propelled onto the global stage of space exploration”.

Speaking of the future, VP Dhankhar said that “the coming decades will witness an unprecedented surge in space exploration. India, with its robust space programme and a growing pool of skilled professionals, is well-positioned to be a key player in this exciting journey”.