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Earth2Orbit – The first private space start-up in India


Ever heard of Earth2Orbit? Ever imagined seeing an Indian private company in the field of space? Earth2Orbit, the first space-based Indian company started by Dr Susmita Mohanty, a woman space enthusiast cum entrepreneur aiming to revolutionize the space industry in the country. Learn here all about the venture and its founder CEO.

Earth2Orbit

Earth2Orbit (E2O) is the name of the space start-up founded in 2009 by Dr Susmita Mohanty, its Founder-CEO. It is the first private venture of its kind in the country. The start-up deals with most things related to space. From research, designing, engineering, enterprising, architecture, climate control, facilitating launch services and adventure, it deals with almost everything. It is one of those bold new companies mushrooming across the world that want to change the status quo of the space industry from state dominated mega corporations and space agencies to young, passionate and motivated private players. These new entrepreneurs in the private domain are exploring new horizons in the field of space like never before. They are toying up with various new ideas like affordable satellite launching systems, extra-terrestrial mining, space based power generation, space tourism and many more. Earth2Orbit too aims to make an impact with such new innovative technologies in the Indian space front.



About Dr Susmita Mohanty

Dr Susmita Mohanty is no ordinary person. Based in Bengaluru, India's aerospace capital, she is an enterprising woman who has some bold ideas with everything related to space. She considers herself as the daughter of ISRO, the state controlled Indian space organization and protégée of Arthur C Clarke, the famous novelist who wrote many science fiction novels. Her education at International Space University in France has been in fact sponsored by Arthur C Clarke himself. Her PhD in Aerospace Architecture is from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Her impact across continents in the space arena has been such that her name features among the BBC's 100 Women of 2019. She is a member of different space forums like the International Academy of Astronautics and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Space Technologies. She has been instrumental in fostering international cooperation in the field of space. No doubt, she is one of the most popular faces among Indian women in the space industry.

Her association with space begins from her childhood. Her father has been the Deputy Director of ISRO's Space Applications Centre. E2O is the third such space venture for Dr Susmita Mohanty. Back in 2001, she had co-founded 'Moonfront', a space-consulting firm in the US. That time she was only 29 years old. Later, in 2004, she started a venture in Vienna, Austria named 'Liquifer'. The object of the start-up was to design planetary habitats, rovers, spaceship simulators, greenhouses and other space related systems. It is now her dream to see India come up as an important player in the field of space and that too without being dependent upon state controlled institutions and agencies. According to her, the idea for E2O cropped up over a cup of coffee at 'The Grove' on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, USA.

What Earth2Orbit does

  • 2009-2016: Started in 2009, E2O began with offering launch advisory and launch procurement services to makers of satellites. It provided services to international clients looking for launch opportunities with the Indian PSLV rocket. It made history in 2014, when it got Skybox Imaging, the first American company to sign a launch agreement with ISRO. Previously in 2012, it had arranged for the launch of a Japanese microsatellite onboard a PSLV rocket. Later, it arranged for Google Terra Bella (formerly Skybox Imaging) to launch its first microsatellite riding piggyback on another PSLV rocket. It can thus be seen that E2O had been instrumental in helping Antrix, the marketing arm of ISRO, in getting many international launch contracts.

  • 2016-2019: In 2016 the company changed gears and took a more affirmative role on the global climatic front by starting a new business on Earth Observation Data Analytics. Data Analytics, as we know is coming up as an important subject that has applications in many fields, including environment. One such area being, tackling air pollution in Indian cities.

  • 2020 and beyond: Beginning with 2020, E2O wants to focus more on human exploration of space. Its immediate focus is the expected December 2021 launch of India's first manned space mission, codenamed Gaganyaan. Besides that, the company wants to create an awareness in the home front as well as overseas about the country's potential in the space front. It also wants to inspire millions of young Indians to literally reach for the stars, as a career, hobby and otherwise.


Headquarters – E2O

Earth2Orbit is headquartered at Bangalore, the country's capital in terms of aerospace. Over the years, it has also set up offices at Mumbai, Osaka, San Francisco, New York and Vienna. The company has a network of consultants spread across the world. The company recruits young dynamic professionals as well as retired and experienced ones from different space agencies. Anyone who is passionate about space can aspire to join this space venture.



How to contact E2O

You can learn more about the company by visiting its official website. In case you have any queries, you can reach its consultants by sending an e-mail to its Bangalore office at bangalore@earth2orbit.com. Students interested in a space based career or looking for an internship in the company can also get connected through its e-mail ID career@earth2orbit.com.

Reaching for the stars

In the years to come, it is expected that many more business models like Earth2Orbit will take shape, thus revolutionizing the space industry in the country. In the international arena too, we have already seen many private players grooming themselves for big achievements in the space field, the most famous of them being Space X founded by billionaire Elon Musk in 2002. Such has been the phenomenal growth of such private start-ups that companies like Space X are hoping to send a manned mission to Mars by 2024. In comparison, E2O still has a long way to go. It is however, expanding its role in the Indian space industry by all means and in the near future could be expected to become a major private player providing supports of all kinds to ISRO.

In recent years, many top ISRO officials have acknowledged the role played by the private sector in getting many international contracts for the space agency, especially in manufacturing activities. For this cooperation to pick greater momentum, the Indian government has to play a proactive role by deregulating the space industry and allowing greater participation of private players in the expanding space business. Public and private partnership of this kind will sure take Indian space enthusiasts like E2O to reach for the stars one day.


Article by Dhruv
Dhruv is an electrical engineer by profession. Apart from liking his job, he has a special love for writing and has often dabbled in writing scripts for skits and short plays. As a Content Developer at ISC, Dhruv is having a whale of a time, showcasing his writing skills.

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