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    Space tourism could be a reality soon — ISRO testing human flight capacity at low earth orbit

    Space tourism could be a reality soon — ISRO testing human flight capacity at low earth orbit

    Space tourism could be a reality soon — ISRO testing human flight capacity at low earth orbit
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    Union Minister Jitendra Singh said the ISRO is testing human flight capacity at low earth orbit to develop capabilities for space. The space department is in the process of drafting a space policy that will provide direction to the activities of the private Indian space industry, he added.

    Could space tourism be a reality soon? The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) — the country's space agency — is in the process of developing indigenous capabilities for space tourism, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said. He added that the ISRO is testing human flight capacity at low earth orbit to develop capabilities for space.
    The ISRO's move comes at a time when the world is already gearing up for space tourism.
    The department of space is in the process of drafting a comprehensive and integrated space policy, which will provide direction to the activities of the private Indian space industry, said the minister, responding to questions in the Upper House of Parliament on July 21.
    He said the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre — also known as IN-SPACe — seeks to promote active participation of the private sector in carrying out end-to-end space activities, including space tourism.
    IN-SPACe is an autonomous body under the space department to promote, handhold and authorise private sector activities in the space domain.
    Individuals can take a tour of space
    In the West, three billionaire entrepreneurs — Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk — are competing to usher in a new era of commercial space tourism. The three invested billions of dollars in their space companies, each promising to ferry paying customers on rides to space.
    This month, Musk's SpaceX broke its own record for the number of rockets launched in a year, crossing last year's tally of 31 missions amid a campaign to launch its own internet satellites into orbit.
    In April, Bezos's Amazon secured rocket launches with three companies in a bid to put together a satellite constellation to beam broadband internet that will rival SpaceX's Starlink.

    Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic Holdings, sees its next commercial flight coming in the first quarter of 2023, after it completes a structural overhaul of its existing carrier plane, VMS Eve. 

    Last year, Branson soared more than 50 miles above the New Mexico desert aboard his Virgin Galactic rocket plane and safely returned in the vehicle's first fully crewed test flight to space — a symbolic milestone for a venture he started 17 years ago.

    (With inputs from agencies)

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