Future Indian Space-Risk Assessment and Organisational Structuring

Publication Type:

Conference Papers


68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Adelaide (2017)




Risk management, Risk mitigation strategies, Space governance, Space program risks


The main emphasis of the future Indian Space Programme extending up to the year 2030 is stated to be contributing to the national developmental goals of sustainable development. This is envisaged to be pursued through activities and programmes mainly in the areas of Space Transportation Systems, Space Infrastructure (satellites), Space Applications, Capacity Building, and Institutional Support. As the investments envisaged by the government alone will be about three trillion Indian rupees (over the next 13 years) and also that the Programme is well poised to evolve risk sharing partnerships with Industry besides many international collaborative relationships, a systematic risk assessment and management assumes paramount importance. Hence a study is made to identify and assess risks and discuss on the risk management planning perspectives for the national space activities. The methodology adopted comprised of generating a register of top level risks under two broad categories of programmatic risks within space sector and risks due to environmental factors. The programmatic risks are analyzed in terms of likely design, developmental and operational risks, which will be manifested in terms of financial, technical performance and schedule impacts beyond specified limits as well as the human resource/organization related impacts. Environmental risks are classified into factors related to political stability, possible policy and regulatory changes, major technological advances and disruptions, economic trends, factors relating to international environment and risks due to changing space environment. Impacts and likelihoods are mapped for all major planned initiatives in space transportation, earth observations, space communications, navigation and space exploration missions as well as applications- resulting out of the imperatives and trends in domestic and international environment like increasing private sector participation, disruptive technological trends that can change cost trajectories (such as reusable launch systems concepts), upheavals in the space situation, and the national /international regulatory trends. In the third part, implications for organisation and governance is analyzed from the perspectives of risk management. The analysis establishes the key needs of governance structure and organizational change springing from the transformation of stakeholder profile and other trends of the environment