The concept of space tourism has long been a dream for many, akin to the stuff of science fiction novels. However, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is taking bold steps to transform this dream into a tangible reality in the near future. By 2030, the wealthy may have the opportunity to don space suits, board rocket-powered modules, and journey into the cosmos.
Sub-orbital Space Travel: A New Frontier
ISRO Chairman S Somnath has affirmed that work is currently underway on India’s very own tourism space module, one that prioritizes safety and reusability. A crucial component of this space tourism endeavor is sub-orbital space travel, which sets it apart from traditional orbital missions. The key distinction lies in the speed of the spacecraft: suborbital rockets travel at speeds below orbital velocity, while orbital spacecraft must attain orbital velocity for their missions.
The Price of Cosmic Adventure
Sub-orbital flights offer a tantalizing glimpse of space. It’s a thrilling adventure that promises to leave a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to embark on it. While the experience is undoubtedly remarkable, it comes with a price tag. The average ticket cost for a sub-orbital space tourism adventure is projected to be approximately Rs 6 crore. Despite the substantial expense, there is already significant interest in this venture.
ISRO’s Bold Steps Towards Space Tourism
In February, Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, and Space, informed the Rajya Sabha that ISRO had initiated feasibility studies for India’s sub-orbital space tourism mission. This underscores the government’s commitment to exploring the possibilities of this groundbreaking endeavor.