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Tuesday, February 27 2024

Gaganayan: Space tour for non-astronauts

Gaganayan: Space tour for non-astronauts
Photo Credit : Facebook

Space tourism is another niche segment of the aviation industry that seeks to give tourists the ability to become astronauts and experience space travel for recreational, leisure, or business purposes.

From zero-pressure balloon trips to astronaut boot camps, reservations for getting off the planet are skyrocketing. The prices, however, are still out of this world.

At the end of the 1990s, a partnership between the Russian business MirCorp and the American corporation Space Adventures Limited marked the beginning of space tourism.

Space tourism is another specialized area of the aviation sector, which aims to allow visitors to take on the role of astronauts and experience space flight for leisure, business, or other reasons.

However, the space tourism program is like a dream. ISRO has ensured that it will become a reality soon. The wealthy will be able to wear space suits, board rocket-powered modules, and travel to space by 2030.

ISRO dream project

India’s maiden human space-flight mission ‘Gaganyaan’ is expected to be launched in 2024.

If you want to do space travel, you need to pay a hefty amount of money, and you could travel through space. Yes, you read it right. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), the national space agency of India, has plans to develop a special spacecraft that can carry civilians to outer space and back. A few months back, the Union Minister, Jitendra Singh, said that to build space capacities, the ISRO is testing human flight capability in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) is also aiming to encourage the involvement of private players in full-scale space operations, including space tourism.

ISRO Space tour

What is IN-Space?
The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) is a single-window independent organisation that reports to the Indian government’s Department of Space. The Center oversees and facilitates space operations in India. To determine “how effectively to utilize India’s space resources and increase space-based activity,” IN-SPACe will serve as a liaison between ISRO and private sector businesses.

Space tourism in India is years overdue, and the first Gaganyaan manned mission, primarily a scientific mission to demonstrate an indigenous capability to undertake human space flight missions, has not yet been launched. The human mission is anticipated to launch between 2024 and 2025 if all test missions are successful.

For now, space tourism is a dream, but to become a reality, ISRO has to ensure certain things first- the perfect completion of the Gaganyaan programme, many iterations of the same, the development and successful launches of a reusable rocket intended for tourist transportation, and the assurance that all systems are dependable and affordable to be financially viable. It is predicted that Indian space tourism will be viable around 2028. We will have to wait and see what happens till then

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Ramya E.

The author is a counselor and lifeskills trainer who has trained over 2000 students. She holds an M.Sc. in Psychology.

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