Once sidelined as too ambitious, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) space technology is now world famous. With the success of Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan, ISRO has become one of the leading space research organisations in the world. This means endless new opportunities — and not just in outer space!
One of the most challenging and interesting areas of space is the legal jurisprudence of space activities. It requires a space lawyer who must constantly keep up with new developments in space technologies. And taking up this crucial job is Sireesh Pallikond, a space lawyer, a facilitator for ISRO and the CEO of Marici Space.
Explaining his role, Sireesh says, “There is an outer space treaty on principles governing the activities of countries in the exploration and use of outer space, which includes space and other celestial bodies. For example, let us say that there are two different countries and both have a satellite in the outer space. If those satellites have an accident in the space, it wouldn’t just affect those two countries, but the debris would affect other satellites in the space too. In this scenario, the country that should be liable for all the damage is determined by space law. However, this is just one scenario; there are various other things that the law takes care of.”
He adds, “I was fascinated by the universe. I finished my aeronautical engineering from the Hyderabad’s Institute of Aeronautical Engineering and moved on to work in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for six years as an unmanned aerial vehicle pilot. I then discovered my passion for space and studied space law from International Space University in France.”
The 33-year-old is also a space technology facilitator for many countries and companies. “There are only five countries in the world which can provide satellite launch services — the US, France, Russia, Japan and India, and we are one of the most trusted and reliable countries for launching satellites. My company works towards facilitating other countries with access to ISRO’s launch pad for both geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) and polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV), which is at Sriharikota.”
Sireesh believes that after the successful launch of Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan, the next big revolution that India would see is the space revolution. “Unlike the US, in India the space industry is only limited to the government sector. However, I feel that our country has a lot of potential.”...