India's maiden mission to the Sun will happen in 2019: ISRO

National | Nov. 21, 2017, 12:58 p.m.

New Delhi, Nov 21: The Indian Space Research Organisation is not into space for tourism as it is yet to fully harness the capabilities of space technology for India, but private players can participate in the rapidly growing global space adventure market, its chief A S Kiran Kumar said today.

Noting that India currently has only 42 satellites in space, Kumar said that ISRO was trying to increase the number of launches per year to meet the country's increasing demands.

"The Department of Space does not look at tourism as an activity. We still have not provided the capabilities from the space technology the country is looking for," he said.

He, however, said ISRO encourages the domestic industry in the field of space tourism and allied activities.

"At the same time, we are trying to enable the industry, so that it can takeoff and can come up with mechanism. They can take part in the global market for space tourism and adventure," Kumar said in his address at an event at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here.

Kumar, who is also the secretary in the Department of Space, said ISRO was trying to increase the number of launches per year. At the same time, he added, the domestic industry, which has been helping ISRO, can start "taking a pie" out of the global space market.

The global space tourism market is expected to grow steadily at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 14 per cent by 2021, market analysis reports suggest.

Kumar also said that ISRO plans to launch two-three Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles and 8-10 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles, ISROs most trusted satellite carrier, every year.

"We are trying to get the necessary approvals for these launch vehicle activities. So, in the next five years, almost 60 launch vehicles will be going up," Kumar said.

Later Kumar told reporters that Aditya-L1, India's maiden mission to the Sun, will happen in 2019.

"Missions to Venus, asteroid and a second mission to the Mars are in the study phase," he added. 

IANS

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