Shivam Gupta, CEO & MD at Space Technology & Education Pvt. Ltd. has been an active stakeholder of the organisation since 16 Years and in 2022 joined as CEO of the organisation for building strong business and marketing strategies with dynamic leadership for making the conglomerate a global powerhouse in the field of Education and Tourism through Astronomy, Space Science, STEM and Metaverse. Shivam has lead various marketing projects in Real Estate and pursued his Metaverse startup for building an experiential economy. His vision towards MarTech has helped companies achieve higher sales and stronger brand value. Shivam has worked with the likes of Times of India, Hindustan Times, MY FM, GD Goenka University, GD Goenka World School and other prominent schools of India for marketing promotions, Metaverse developments, Educational Programs and AstroTourism. Shivam is a Commerce graduate and holds a Bachelors Degree in Global Management (Finance) from Regents University London, United Kingdom.
The battle of space started between two superpowers, but today over 90 countries are operating in space; while only 12 Astronauts have been to the moon, and only 500 Astronauts have travelled to Space out of a massive 8 Billion Population. Over the past few years, space tourism and education is gaining traction in all fields. Be it billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson making headlines with their successful space flights, hinting at a budding space tourism business or the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) incredible MARS mission; the space sector and its economy is booming day by day.
The Indian space science sector which has completed more than 200 missions over the past five-plus decades, developed multiple cutting-edge technologies and managed to complete MARS mission in a budget of a movie, has managed to trigger interest in a host of private-sector investors that are now investing in space programmes of private companies. From seeking everything from scientific advances to potentially lucrative business opportunities, investors are scouting to conduct a socio-economic impact audit on the Indian space programmes, while adding a new and unique category of investment in their funds portfolio. It has been estimated that in 2022 so far, funding to private players in the space sector has jumped a whopping 61.5 percent, soaring to $108.52 million compared to $67.2 million in 2021 and currently 104 space start-ups and 368 space tech companies are actively working in the sector according to official data
The booming of the burgeoning space sector
With all the happenings in the Space sector, it can certainly be described as a “space renaissance”, a period in which once called a “domain of giants” is now becoming a space for everyone due to technological innovations that are significantly reducing costs and creating new capabilities. The newest crop of space entrants is thriving on discoveries that are leading mankind to opportunities to find new materials and methods, better technical systems, more efficacious instruments, and new laws in nature.
It is a result of such rapid advancements that the National Education Policy is emphasising on providing the grassroots level an integral understanding of Space Science and Astronomy. As it will not only result in the development and transmission of knowledge in all relevant fields of space science and technology, it will also enable the students to enhance their understanding about our universe’s vastness and learning from hands-on experiences through indigenous Space and STEM kits. The gen-z can potentially create a greater impact and with a clear perception on the preservation of Earth’s environment as it is evident that Earth is a single-point failure for humanity and we need alternatives for survival. Thus, the education on Space Science is ever so necessary and important at schools all around the world.
As an academic field, space science education has a tremendous amount of potential but surviving on just government funds is becoming perilous for the sector. However, the rise of India’s own “SpaceX-like ventures” is increasing the private sector’s active participation in the industry.
The rise in digital Infrastructure in the sky – In recent years, space-based technologies have become an important factor to reach, bolster, connect and combat various implications through more secure and effective means. Every year, numerous innovations generated by space programmes can be used in everyday lives and can be applied to have better access to better education which means better life prospects and opportunities for human beings. The low-cost launch, low-cost miniaturized satellites and the capability of launching hundreds or even thousands of satellites in a single constellation is opening new doors for venture capitalists to explore. Plus, multi-million dollar industries like climate and sustainability, connectivity, autonomous mobility, smart cities, and defence are big opportunities that are now being addressed from this digital infrastructure in the sky.
Raising the bar of Space Education and budget: To boost the participation of young people and students in the Indian space sector, government initiatives like the Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) space challenge or developing world-class learning facilities and space museums, has helped students to learn the basics of space technology, increased interest and curiosity in the field, and created a path to pursue career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to help and develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
The rise in the budget is also attracting many private investors as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s annual budget has crossed $1.45 billion (₹10,000 crores) and is poised to reach USD 12.8 billion by 2025. However, demand for space-based services is far greater therefore, private sector investment is critical and eventful.
Experiential learning means valuable future opportunities: The time calls for Grassroots to learn via experiential methods of Mixed Reality consuming of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), students can easily be taught about Space science via simulation of Rockets, Robotics, Astronaut experiences, etc, which can exponentially grow their curiosity and passion. Imparting Space knowledge at schools has been low due to factors such as limited availability of content and Space being an expensive sector, but with AR & VR possibilities, the real to life experiences would help schools and students to discover a new dimension of education. Thus, this makes investing in the Space education sector a great initiative as the tailwind is strong.
The need of the hour is to encourage investments in the Space Science Education sector so that the future of the nation is secured by building critical capabilities and capacity. The investment in this sector is not only leading to the use of innovations like AI and Robotics that are sub-assets of Space Science Technology but the budding space industry is also creating an enormous amount of wealth and thousands of associated jobs and most importantly creating scope for Space exploration and resources research. Also for rectifying the inequalities in our educational system, institutions, businesses, and governmental entities, forward-looking academics must work together and build futuristic educational aids and content. As only then humanity can “go where it has never gone before”.