INDIA: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is looking into ways of make available space tourism at a cheaper price, according to the agency director Dr K Radhakrishnan.
Dr Jitendra Singh, the minister of science and technology, stated that the space agency is working to establish indigenous capabilities for space tourism by demonstrating human space travel capacity to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). “ISRO is presently working with 61 nations on various space-related projects,” he continued.
In the last few years, the space tourism industry has exploded, with private aerospace corporations dominating the market and government space agencies lagging. With its Dragon spacecraft that offers tourism flights in zero gravity, Elon Musk-founded SpaceX is the market leader in space travel.
The New Shepard spaceship from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which launches from West Texas with passengers on short joyrides to space, is another major competitor in the industry. The flights, which last close to ten minutes, provide the guests with a view of the Earth from above. Isro is now working on additional missions as it prepares to launch the Gaganyaan mission next year, which will be its first human spaceflight.
The boosters that will power India’s first space flight undertook a static fire test in May of this year with success, thanks to Isro. The ground certification testing of the launch vehicle propulsion stages has also begun and is successfully advancing as the four unidentified Indian Air Force officials continue training for the mission.
The Gaganyaan crew module, which Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is developing, will be the first indigenous spaceship to carry Indian astronauts into space and bring them safely back to Earth.
The minister also disclosed that the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) works to encourage the private sector’s active participation in carrying out end-to-end space activities, including space tourism. IN-SPACe will develop strategies to enable commercial organisations to utilise the technical resources and expertise available across ISRO Centers.
The minister also mentioned that the Department of Space (DOS) is working on a comprehensive, integrated space policy to guide the operations of the commercial Indian space industry.