The space tourism market has been growing significantly over the last couple of years due to the emergence of private aerospace companies, but Indian players are yet to enter the lucrative field. Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh recently informed that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working on developing indigenous capabilities related to space tourism.
In response to a written query, Singh said that the Indian government has allowed the private sector to participate in the country’s space activities. He also stated that the IN-SPACe was working to promote end-to-end space activities.
“ISRO is in the process of developing indigenous capabilities towards space tourism through the demonstration of human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO)” he further said.
Moreover, the new space policy is expected to provide various benefits to the country’s space sector startups. They will be able to access more capital and clarity on certain issues related to their liability in case of an unfortunate incident. Over a hundred companies are currently active in this field. Some of these include companies that are involved in the design and construction of satellites.
“A new space policy addressing various domains of space activities is being worked out,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh told Parliament on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is a major player in the space tourism market. It launched its New Shepard spacecraft from West Texas and transported passengers to space for a brief joyride. The flights lasted around 10 minutes and provided the passengers with a view of the Earth from space. Also, SpaceX, which was founded by Elon Musk, is currently leading the way in this sector. Its Dragon spacecraft is capable of transporting tourists into space.
India’s space agency, ISRO, is currently working on various missions, including the Gaganyaan mission, which it hopes to launch in 2019.
India’s space tourism potential would require the country to successfully carry out multiple space launches and successfully develop a re-usable rocket system to take and bring back tourists. This would require a long-term commitment from the government and the private sector, as well as the necessary time and resources to get the project off the ground. Besides these, other factors such as the availability of low-cost and reliable infrastructure would also be taken into account to make the space tourism industry a viable business.