Ludhiana, February 14
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is in the process of launching space tourism, the Centre has said.
It was stated by the Union Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, in reply to a question of Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora.
In an unstarred question, which was taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Arora had asked whether the ISRO was planning for space tourism and if so, state details of the Budget allocated for the purpose.
Dr Singh, who also holds the portfolios of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, informed the House that the objective of India’s maiden human spaceflight programme, ‘Gaganyaan’, is demonstration of human spaceflight capability to low earth orbit (LEO), which is a precursor to the future space tourism programme.
“The ISRO has carried out a few feasibility studies for a sub-orbital space tourism mission,” the Union Minister revealed while announcing that after the accomplishment of the ‘Gaganyaan’ mission, activities towards space tourism would be firmed up.
Earlier, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), which is a single window agency under the Department of Space to promote, handhold and authorise the activities of the private sector in the space domain, had also sought to promote active participation of the private sector in carrying out end-to-end space activities, including space tourism.
Besides, the ISRO had also developed international cooperation and relations with 61 countries in varied domains of space activities.
Already in operation
While India is still trying to launch space tourism, several private firms funded by billionaires have already ventured into the market from foreign countries.
While Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s Space Plane or Elon Musk’s SpaceX was undertaking space tourism with its Dragon capsule, which was lifted by the Falcon 9 rocket, taking tourists on flights in zero gravity, the Axiom Space in collaboration with the USA’s space agency NASA, and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, launched from West Texas recently, was taking the tourists for 10-minute rides to view earth from outside.
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