A rendition of ISRO Human Space Flight crew module which will carry Indian Vyomanauts

ISRO is developing space tourism capability

The Department of Space clears the air around space tourism will act as building blocks for pursuing space tourism. Space tourism involves private companies taking people on brief flights to space

The Department of Space on Thursday said that it has no plans to make laws governing space tourism, an emerging sector evolving in western countries, that is being seen as a medium to fund deep space exploration. The Department of Space has cleared the air around space tourism as it pushes to boost commercial space exploration.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of Science & Technology in a reply in the Lok Sabha said that ISRO is currently developing technologies for Human Rated Launch Vehicle, Orbital Module, Life Support System, Crew Escape System, Human Centric Products, and Crew Recovery for the Gaganyaan mission. All these technologies will act as building blocks for pursuing space tourism in the future.

The minister, however, maintained that as part of the Gaganyaan mission, India is developing technologies and crew safety protocols required for human space flight missions.

The statement comes just days after the Centre announced that ISRO is developing space tourism capability to be part of the multi-million-dollar market in the coming years. The Department of Space had said that the Indian space agency is in the process of developing indigenous capabilities towards space tourism through the demonstration of human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Space tourism is a new sector where private aerospace companies are taking passengers on brief flights to space giving them an opportunity to explore weightlessness in zero-gravity and see Earth from outside it. Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are leading the way as Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic catches up.

Blue Origin is about to launch six passengers beyond the Karmen line, the border that defines space at 100 kilometers above the planet, in its New Shepard spacecraft.

Meanwhile, the minister also said that about 15 start-ups are working in the domain of offering satellite services to the country and that "The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre [IN-SPACe] is conducting a survey to build the capability matrix of Indian start-ups, which shall serve as the definite database for private activities in the space sector."