Space Tourism Indian Space Research Organization( ISRO)

 Why in Space Tourism?

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning space tourism by 2030.

 ISRO is developing capabilities towards space tourism through demonstration of human space flight capability to LOW Earth Orbit ( LEO).

 More About Space Tourism 

 The objective of India’s maiden human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan is demonstration of human spaceflight capability to Low Earth Orbit, which is a precursor to future Space Tourism Programme. 

 • ISRO has carried out a few feasibility studies for a sub-orbital space tourism mission. 

• After the accomplishment of the Gaganyaan mission, activities towards space tourism shall be firmed up. 

● Space tourism is a segment of space travel that  allow lay people to travel to space for recreation, leisure or business  purposes.

● From $350 million in 2019, the industry is forecasted to grow to more than $ 1 trillion by 2040.

● Space Tourism aims to make space accessible to those people  who are not astronauts and want to travel to space for non_ scientific reasons. 

Three private companies _ Blue Orgin, Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk's SpaceX _ are some of the companies that have space tourism. 

● It's divided into different types, including orbital, suborbital, and lunar ( moon ) tourism. 

Challenges in space tourism 

 High cost: Space tourism is prohibitively expensive, with prices reaching tens of thousands of dollars per seat, limiting accessibility for most people. 

• Environmental impact: The carbon footprint from space tourism flights is significant and may contribute to climate change.

 • Noise pollution: The noise generated by spacecraft can disturb people and wildlife on Earth and interfere with radio communications and navigation equipment in space. 

• Lack of responsibility and regulation: The space tourism industry is relatively new, and there are insufficient regulations to ensure the safety of passengers and the environment. 

• Depleting ozone layer: Aircraft carrying tourists into low-Earth orbit emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, which can damage the ozone layer and increase harmful UV radiation on Earth's surface.

 • Space debris: Space tourism and satellite deployment have contributed to a significant amount of space debris orbiting Earth, which poses risks to future space missions and the safety of spacecraft. 

Concerns related to space tourism:

● Impact on human health: Passengers would be in a potentially severe environment under abnormal conditions. Even during normal operations, they will experience intense accelerations and they absence of gravity. 

● Lack of international rules on governance: 

New rules may need to be added for certification of commercial products, services, personnel and facilities, which were never considered in previous space projects.

● Impact on environment: Researchers state that may need to be added for certification of commercial products, several, personnel and facilities, which were never considered in previous space projects. 

● Passenger liability : International treaties and conventions are bereft aimed at regulating the signatory states and are bereft of the provision to handle the liability of private entities in space.

● Unclear status of space tourist :  No international space law has define space tourist. Existing space treaties such as Outer Space Treaty, Rescue Agreement etc.are only applicable to astronauts, envoys of mankind, or personnel of a spacecraft. 

● High cost : Large leaps in cost metrics will be required to make space tourism a reality for the average person.

 Future of space tourism

• Need to formulate laws and legislations that shall regulate issues of space tourism including the regulation of private players.

 • Need for habitable structure apart from international space station 

• Future of space tourism has the ability to positively impact many socioeconomic factors on Earth including creating jobs, educating citizens about space and fostering further innovation in the space economy. 

 • Need for environmental regulation to reduce the climatic damage from this fast-growing industry. 

India's Initiatives

● Gaganyaan mission is expected to take off between 2024 _ 25.

● Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center ( IN _ SPACe) seeks to promote active participation of the private sector in carrying out end _ to _ end space activities, and this includes space tourism. 

Way Formed 

● Need to formulate laws and legislations that shall regulate issues of space tourism including the regulation of private players. 

● Peculiarities of  sub _ orbital flight do require the establishment of rules for the medical fitness to protect potential passengers from a medical standpoint. 

● There is an Urgent need for environmental regulation to reduce the climatic damage from this fast _ growing industry 

● Enact appropriate national / global space laws and regulations which encourage and assist the private sector to grow technologically and commercially. 

To know more about Space Exploration, please refer to our following Weekly Focus Document. 

Space Exploration: Changing dynamics & pathway to the future 

Space exploration has played an important role for countries with regard to their economies and security. With the sector experiencing substantial growth, the need for collaboration in the sector has also increased. Indian being an emerging power in the sector can play a vital role in creating and enabling space collaboration. 


It is likely that the space tourism industry will evolve during the next decade, as barriers  to entry will be reduced, competition will grow, costs will be lowered, and eventually, space travel will be affordable for everyone. 

  Related news

NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, plans to increase the number of missions it handles each year using its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). 

• SSLV is first lightweight homegrown rocket to have successfully reached the low earth orbit (LEO) of around 700 kilometer above the Earth’s surface. 

• It has a capacity of about 500kg in terms of payload, or the satellites that it can carry to space.  

• SSLV target nano- and micro-satellites, which weigh less than 10kg and 100kg respectively, and offer on-demand launch services. 

• SSLV can tap a growing demand for smaller satellite launches from private firms to undertake more missions. 

● It contains 3 stages and all are solid fuel stages.

● It can carry a 500 kg payload to the 500 km polar orbit 

● It can also carry 300 kg payload to 500 km SSPO.
● It will boost commercial launched and it will strengthen the position of Indian in the world space market.

● Private companies are engaged by ISRO for mass production of SSLV.
● SSLV requires very less time to assemble which is only 72 hours 


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