The Indian Space Research Organisation (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).
The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-Space) is also planning to promote active participation of private sector in carrying out end-to-end space activities, which include space tourism as well.
It is interesting to note that the Government is working towards space diplomacy. In this context, ISRO is pursuing international cooperation and relations with 61 countries in varied domains of space activities.
It may be recalled that the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-Space) was created as a single-window agency, under the Department of Space, to promote, handhold and authorise the activities of private sector in space domain, including those by young entrepreneurs and students interested in the field of space science.
Recently, Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that INSpace will come up with mechanisms to enable sharing of technical facilities and expertise available across ISRO Centres with private entities. The Department of Space is in the process of drafting a comprehensive, integrated space policy, which will provide direction to the activities of private space industry.
There are several different types of space tourism, including orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. Santhosh George Kulangara was the first Indian selected to be a paid space tourist by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in 2007. With Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson’s recent suborbital space flights, the concept of space tourism has gripped the interest of the world. The advent of space tourism occurred at the end of the 1990s with a deal between the Russian company MirCorp and the American company Space Adventures Ltd.
According to a media report, if a person wants to travel in the space, he or she will have to spend at least $ 4.5 lakh (more than Rs 3.6 crore).