Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal Monday said the “space race” had truly begun and was accelerating each day. Addressing the inauguration of the Indian Space Association (ISPA), Mittal announced that Bharti’ Global-backed space venture One Web had tied up with ISRO to launch satellites from Indian soil.“We are seeing that very very large and powerful countries along with the private sector are moving their agenda at a very fast pace. Without the support of the govts this becomes impossible,” MIttal said, while thanking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for what he called was timely intervention in moving the Indian space agenda to a very different level.Mittal announced that Bharti Airtel had entered into an arrangement to use the workhorse of ISRO, the ‘PSLV’ and the new rocket that they are bringing out of a very large payload capacity, GSLV III to launch satellites from the Indian soil.He added that India was poised well in the space race as it was one of the few handful countries which had their own capabilities through organisations such as ISRO and now NSIIL.“We are fortunate in India that we have an agency like ISRO and now NSIL which have had an illustrious career in manufacturing our own satellites, putting our rockets together,” he said.Mittal also said, new technologies were upending the old technologies with billions of dollars being spent. It is therefore time for us to move. “In the next 3-5 years the space industry will dramatically alter and my own company Bharti AIrtel through its investment via Bharti Enterprises in One Web is joining this race at a very fast pace,” he said.Mittal added that One Web will be bringing in connectivity to the nation and ensuring connectivity to every square inch of our country. “One Web which already has 322 satellites in space will be providing services either middle of next year to the entire country, oceans, deserts, forests and hinterland,” he said.

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