BANGALORE: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which in April had announced opportunities for industry and academia for its proposed human spaceflight, has received more than 200 applications detailing various proposals.

“I am very glad that we have so many proposals and that they are very good. Our expert committee, which has people from ISRO and other important academic institutions is now evaluating these proposals,” Sivan said.

When the agency’s announcement of opportunity (AO) had called for such proposals, it had reiterated that India was eyeing more than just landing a probe on Moon or sending astronauts only to low earth orbit (LEO).

“Right now, I know that there are proposals from L&T among companies and many from our academic institutions. We are still sorting them out and at this moment I cannot comment on how many of them are from the private sector and how many from academic institutes,” Sivan told TOI.

ISRO is looking at technologies like inflatable habitats, in-situ 3D manufacturing for space among the 18 experiments in the AO. It had also sought proposals in the field of human psychology for long-term missions.

The kinds of experiments ISRO is looking to carry out on Gaganyaan is in line with the agency’s future plans, which includes establishing India’s own space station.

Sivan said that as part of the unlocking of the space sector to private players, ISRO, along with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) will be unveiling a new programme called SEED (Space Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development).

“This early stage encouragement programme is to help small firms in doing innovation, research and product development. The department of space (DOS) will be compiling a list of products and technologies that can be developed by start-ups,” he said.

Further, he said that ISRO would also offer in-house technologies to start-ups that can spin-off and come out with newer products.