Indian space research organization, the space agency funded by the government of India has added yet another feather in its cap. ISRO will launch paid space rides which will have passengers charged on a per kilometer rate. It has announced launch of paid space trips in which ISRO claims the rides will be cheaper than Uber.
Indian Space Research Organization, the premier space research agency was recently in the news for launching 104 satellites at one go. ISRO had recently launched the Mangalyaan which reached mars orbit after travelling 650 million kilometers. The Indian prime minister had calculated the cost of reaching mars as 7 rupees per kilometer. This and many other reports on its cost advantage has made ISRO very proud. The announcement of space rides at rates cheaper than uber rides is an icing on the cake.
An average Indian quite often dreams of travelling by air. The Indian government has set the stakes high. To match the rates offered by ISRO, other space faring nations are expected to launch similar rides. A NASA scientist on condition of anonymity expressed feeling insecure about his job. Governments across the world in order to assuage the feelings of hurt among their space scientists have come up with competing schemes.
American and European space agencies feel the heat
Elon musk, the space entrepreneur refused to react to this news when contacted by this news site. Analysts however predict that his reusable launch vehicles might not be able to offer a cheaper rate than ISRO. The commercial arm of ISRO called antrix has seen its revenues grow by leaps and bounds. The international space launch market sees at least 75 to 130 launches per year with every launch costing about 75 million per satellite. SpaceX had vowed to reduce orbital launch costs to as low as 1000 dollars per pound.
ISRO orbital launches cost about 2 lakh rupees per kg. For a space traveler of average weight with all life support systems might cost about 12 crore rupees or just 2 million dollars. Recent space travelers however have paid rates ranging from 30 -40 million dollars for about 8 to 11 days of orbital space travel.