Indian Private players allowed to build and operate rocket launch sites

Government has allowed private companies to establish & operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country. However, it is subject to prior authorisation from government.

Key Points

  • Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 which was put forward by the Department of Space and IN-SPACe is the nodal agency responsible for overall approval.
  • As per the policy, any orbital or sub-orbital rocket launch from Indian or overseas territory can be carried out only after authorisation from Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe).
  • Mission can be launched from own or leased launch site or from mobile platforms like land, sea or air.
  • Currently, Agnikul Cosmos is developing small rocket to launch small satellites into orbit. Skyroot Aerospace is the other small rocket maker.
  • As per the policy, IN-SPACe authorisation requires financial guarantee or insurance cover by proposer under its ownership to fulfil nation’s liability as per international agreements.
  • If the launch will be carried outside the India, all approvals necessary to undertake the scope of activities in another nation or territory will be in accordance with applicable laws of concerned nation or territory.
  • Compliance and approvals of administration which is controlling the territory from where Launch is performed will be ensured by proposer. The proof of compliance or approvals will be enclosed with application for authorisation.

Significance of the policy

These reforms announced by Government is aimed to unlock the potential of space sector in India. It expects to attract entrepreneurs to invest in cost-effective & quick turn-around space transportation systems. It is comprehensive policy covering all aspects of space transportation like launching, launchpads and re-entry.

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