Indian private players can now build and operate rocket launch sites

Indian private companies will now be allowed to establish and operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country. Read all you need to know.

Created On: Jun 29, 2021 12:31 IST
Rocket launch, India, Source: PTI
Rocket launch, India, Source: PTI

Indian private companies will now be allowed to establish and operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country, with prior permission from the Indian government.

Any orbital or sub-orbital rocket launch from Indian or overseas territory can only be conducted with authorization from the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), an independent body constituted by the Government of India, under the Department of Space (DOS).

The launch site, either owned or leased, or from mobile platforms such as air, land, or sea will be according to the Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 developed by the Department of Space.

The Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020

• The Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 is a comprehensive framework that covers all the aspects of rocket launching, launchpads, re-entry of a space object and others. The policy was developed by the Department of Space and requires IN-SPACe’s authorization for any activity.

• Any orbital or sub-orbital rocket launch from Indian or overseas territory can only be conducted with authorization from the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), an independent body constituted by the Government of India, under the Department of Space (DOS).

• As per the Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020, IN-SPACe authorization requires the financial guarantee or insurance cover by the proposer as part of its ownership towards the fulfillment of the nation's liability as per international agreements.

In case of overseas launch site

• In case the launch site is overseas, all necessary approvals for undertaking the activities in another country must be under the applicable laws of that country.

• The approvals and compliance of the administration controlling the territory from where the Launch is performed shall be ensured by the proposer and the proof of approvals or compliance will be enclosed within the authorization.

• The IN-SPACe will authorize the launch activities by the Indian Entity after verifying the clearances accorded by the Ministry of External Affairs or any other Ministry, if applicable.

• As per the draft policy, IN-SPACe or the Union of India shall not have any liability related to launches performed outside of the territory of India.

Significance of authorization process under the space draft policy

• As per the draft policy, the authorization process ensures that sharing of Government owned launch facilities does not interfere with the implementation of approved space programmes for safeguarding national sovereignty or societal development.

• The authorization process ensures that there is no violation of space cooperation-linked launch or non-commercial agreements between countries.

• The authorization process ensures compliance with the relevant regulations and safety requirements. This ensures any launch activity undertaken by Indian entities is in alignment with treaties and international agreements.

How will the space draft policy be beneficial?

• The Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 and other several initiatives by the Government of India are paving a path towards harnessing the potential of the space sector in India. This, in turn, will attract entrepreneurs to invest in cost-effective and quick turn-around space transportation systems with significant global commercial launch services market, the Department of Space noted.

• Indian private players in the space sector are already exploring the potential of small satellite launch services. Several players in the launch vehicles development field are developing small satellite launchers and leveraging the facilities established by the Government.

• Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot Aerospace are small rocket makers who are developing small rockets to launch small satellites into orbit.

 

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