March 23, 2023: If you have been a space enthusiast, this might be the chance for you, keep reading!
As confirmed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somnath, India’s very own safe and reusable space tourism module is currently under construction. If everything proceeds according to their plan, then astronomy-enthusiasts will be able to take a trip to space by 2030 at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore.
Therefore, those who can afford the module, might as well be fortunate enough to call themselves astronauts!
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, and Space, Jitendra Singh, had once announced earlier in February through a written note to the Rajya Sabha that ISRO is planning and has already started to conduct tests to check the feasibility status of India’s future sub-orbital space tourism missions.
Through India’s maiden human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan, which envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3 days mission, and then, bringing them back safely to Earth, by landing in Indian sea waters, ISRO would engage itself in the development of futuristic technologies.
However, it has yet not been announced whether the module will involve suborbital space travel or orbital space travel. The estimated ticket price of Rs 6 crore price has got some experts into believing that the module might involve suborbital space travel.
A suborbital spaceflight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches outer space, but the trajectory or part of the spacecraft intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched.
While for orbital space travel, it is necessary for spacecraft to achieve orbital velocity, for suborbital space travel, the required speed is much below that of orbital velocity. Therefore, the difference between the two kinds of travel is in their speed. (Orbital velocity is defined as the minimum velocity a body must maintain to stay in orbit.)
Earlier, companies like Blue Origin have undertaken suborbital flights with their reusable New Shepard rocket, to promote sustainability and economic viability of spaceflight, that will enhance their chances of going to space more than once.
Some ISRO scientists have mentioned that there is a possibility of ISRO to partner up with private firms to design the upcoming space travel module via the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe). The agency will utilise the Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) to ensure proper feasibility and safety of their spaceflights.
They are planning to ensure maximum safety and make their technology properly pass the necessary safety tests, since the experience will be open to the common people.