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Bengaluru-based space tech startup Bellatrix Aerospace recently announced that it would invest $76 million to establish a research and development (R&D) centre and manufacturing facility locally (in Bengaluru, Karnataka). This new facility is expected to manufacture thrusters, including the hall thruster, microwave plasma thruster, nano thruster, and green propulsion systems. A thruster is a spacecraft propulsion system typically used for controlling the rocket.
Founded in 2015, Bellatrix was established by Yashas Karanam and Rohan Ganapathy. The startup specialises in in-space propulsion systems and rocket propulsion technologies—making space technologies affordable and accessible for all. The new manufacturing facilities will also host projects like space taxis and propulsion systems for rockets. The first phase of the project’s operations will begin in a five-acre facility near Kempegowda International Airport.
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Earlier this year, Bellatrix raised an $8 million Series A investment led by BASF Venture Capital and Inflexor Ventures. Rohan Ganapathy, CEO & CTO of Bellatrix Aerospace, said, “With this investment, we will be expanding our product portfolio, adding to our existing talent pool to broaden our expertise, augment our state-of-the-art infrastructure and focus on validation of our products in space”.
Additionally, the company signed an agreement this year with IN-SPACe, a single-window autonomous government agency focused on promoting and overseeing space activities of Non-Government Private Entities (NGPEs). The agreement helps Bellatrix test its propulsion systems in space with ISRO’s support; enabling them to use ISRO’s test facilities.
The startup is backed by several investors, including First Cheque, growX Ventures, StartupXseed Ventures, Survam Partners, IDFC–Parampara Fund, Mankind Group Family Office, KA Enterprises, and others. Interestingly, it is also supported by Indian actor Deepika Padukone.
The space tech market in India is about to explode. As per reports, India currently has about a 2–3% share of the global space market, which is expected to reach $424 billion by 2030. India’s share is likely to expand by 48% CAGR.
Rocket and satellite launch services contribute only 2% of this market, which requires large infrastructure and investment. The remaining, about 95%, is related to satellite-based services and ground-based systems. However, owing to the country’s new reforms and private players’ participation, the space tech landscape looks more and more promising with each passing day.
Besides Bellatrix, some notable startups working in the space include Kawa Space, Antariksh, Dhruva, Skyroot, Agnikool, Digantara, and others. In the 90th episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Narendra Modi highlighted that India has about 100 active space tech startups solving the problems faced by the space tech industry.