K-Space and VSSC Sign New MoU to Advance Space-Tech Development

The Kerala Space Park project, also known as K-Space, has solidified its relationship with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) through a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed in a ceremony attended by Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), along with other prominent figures in the sector.

The document was signed by VSSC Director S. Unnikrishnan Nair and the Chairman of K-Space’s executive council, Rathan U. Kelkar, who also serves as Secretary of the Electronics and IT department. This marks a new chapter in the partnership between the state government and VSSC, which originally signed an MoU in August 2019, at the start of the Space Park project.

As per the new MoU, VSSC scientists will join the advisory panels of K-Space, offering their expertise and guidance to help shape the project’s development. They will also contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for the advancement of space technology.

Although the Space Park project was initially stalled, the Kerala government decided in December 2022 to rejuvenate it by restructuring the Kerala Space Park as a society under the name ‘K-Space.’ Chief Minister Vijayan expressed optimism that the revived project would encourage the establishment of new businesses in the space-tech sector.

The Space Park project’s potential has been recognized due to its geographical advantage, being situated in close proximity to VSSC. This was highlighted by ISRO Chairman Mr. Somanath, who emphasized that this strategic location could significantly enhance the project’s prospects.

The signing ceremony was attended by several key figures in the space industry, including M.C. Dathan, Mentor (Science) to the Chief Minister, the director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, V. Narayanan, and the director of ISRO’s Inertial Systems Unit, E.S. Padmakumar. Additionally, the registrar of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Kuruvilla Joseph, and VSSC’s chief controller, C. Manoj, were present.

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