Isro developing capability to launch humans on quick space tourism flights

India’s space research agency is testing capabilities of space tourism
ISRO is in the process of developing space tourism

India announced that the department of space is in the process of drafting a space policy that is comprehensive and integrated. It is about the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) working on developing capabilities for space tourism. Union Minister Jitendra Singh announced the news on Sunday.

Isro developing capability to launch humans on quick space tourism flights
Image credits- India Today

The department of space is in the process of drafting a comprehensive and integrated space policy. It will provide direction to the activities of the private Indian space industry, said the minister. He gave the statement as he was responding to questions in the Upper House of Parliament on July 21.

He said the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre — also known as IN-SPACe, seeks to promote active participation of the private sector in carrying out end-to-end space activities, including space tourism. In-SPACe is an autonomous body under the space department to promote, handhold and authorise private sector activities in the space domain. In the West, three billionaire entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are competing to usher in a new era of commercial space tourism. The three invested billions of dollars in their space companies, each promising to ferry paying customers on rides to space.

Other space agencies

This month, Musk’s SpaceX broke its own record for the number of rockets launched in a year, crossing last year’s tally of 31 missions amid a campaign to launch its own internet satellites into orbit. In April, Bezos’s Amazon secured rocket launches with three companies in a bid to put together a satellite constellation to beam broadband internet that will rival SpaceX’s Starlink.

Branson’s space tourism company, Virgin Galactic Holdings, sees its next commercial flight coming in the first quarter of 2023, after it completes a structural overhaul of its existing carrier plane, VMS Eve. According to Wio News, for indigenous space tourism to become a reality in India (as the Minister suggested), it would require all of the following – flawless success of the Gaganyaan programme, multiple repeats of the same, development and successful flights of a re-usable rocket meant for ferrying tourists, ensuring that all systems are reliable& low-cost to be feasible as a business etc. All of this requires time(in decades), large-scale investment and true dedication to the cause of Space tourism, as seen in the private-sector examples from the Western world.

However, ISRO has completed many milestones over the years. Though the progress is slow, India’s focus on promoting local manufacturing and local companies is increasing.