ISRO invites private companies to prepare its launching portals in the country

ISRO invites private companies to prepare its launching portals in the country

Hummingbird News Desk

NEW DELHI, 27 JUNE: India’s Space Department ISRO has invited private companies to establish and operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country, subject to prior authorisation from the government. It has also invited Indian private companies to prepare its new launch portal. For this, ISRO has released a draft of its new space transport policy, which will enable private companies to create launching portals in the country.

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It may be noted that the first and only Satish Dhawan space centre of the ISRO is located at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Now another such space centre is being set up at Thoothukudi near Kulsekarpattinam in Tamil Nadu for which ISRO has called private companies in the country.

“The Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 is comprehensive covering all aspects of rocket launching, launchpads, reentry of a space object and others.

“Policy is well made overall. Good, it allows for launches abroad and building our own launch sites,” Skyroot Aerospace’s Co-Founder and CEO Pawan Kumar Chandana said.

ISRO with the help of the new space transport policy, private companies will be able to use ISRO’s launching portals for their mission. At the same time, the draft also mentions that any Indian company that wants to create a launch portal outside the country will have to seek permission from the IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre). State that IN-SPACe is an independent body built under ISRO, which has recently been set up to oversee the inauguration of the space sector.

The role of the private sector in India’s space sector has been very limited so far. Private-sector services have been taken up only for less important purposes, but now the government is considering sharing ISRO facilities with the private sector as well. According to a government announcement, India’s private sector will play an important role in India’s space-related programmes in the near future. On the other hand, the Department of Space says that the share of private agencies in providing launch services globally has increased and some of them have become important players in the commercial market.

The IN-SPACe shall authorise the launch by the Indian Entity after verifying the clearances accorded by the Ministry of External Affairs or any other Ministry, if applicable and also the approvals obtained by the Entity from the administration/agencies controlling the territory from where the launch is planned.

The draft policy categorically states that IN-SPACe or the Union of India shall not have any liability related to launches performed outside of the territory of India.

According to the draft policy, the authorisation process shall ensure that the sharing of Government owned launch facilities shall not pose any constraint to the timely implementation of approved space programmes for societal development or safeguarding national sovereignty.

“The authorisation process shall ensure that there is no violation of noncommercial & space cooperation-linked launch agreements entered into with other countries,” the draft notes.

According to the Department of Space, it is essential to ensure that the independent launch activities undertaken by Indian entities are in accordance with relevant treaties and other international agreements due to the impact of such activities on public safety, domestic and global transport and in-orbit satellites.

The recent reforms announced by the Government towards unlocking the potential of the space sector in the country are expected to attract entrepreneurs to invest in cost-effective & quick turn-around space transportation systems commensurate with the significant global commercial launch services market, the Department of Space said.

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