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GSLV MarkIII-M1 vehicle coming out of the Vehicle Assembly Building ( ~ isro.gov.in)

In an announcement, which is a part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that private companies including startups will be allowed to take part in India’s space activities including planetary exploration, outer space travel among others.

It is to be recalled that last year in February, a Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi had already approved setting up of a new company under the Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by ISRO and its constituent units. Under this, ISRO would be able to sell its research and development work in space technology to private players in India.

The government will take steps to encourage private participation in the Indian space sector. Speaking to the media on Saturday, the FM said that the government will provide level playing field for private companies in satellite launches, space-based services and use of ISRO facilities.

“Govt. will ease geo-spatial data policy to make such remote-sensing data more widely available to tech entrepreneurs, with safeguards put in place,” she said.

The central government will come up with a predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players.

The private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities. She further announced that liberal geospatial data policy will be framed for private sector to access remote sensing data to tech-entrepreneurs.

The U.S. space agency NASA, in June 2018, already opened up parts of the International Space Station (ISS) to more commercial opportunities, allowing companies unprecedented use of the space station’s facilities, including filming commercials or movies against the backdrop of space.

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Recently, a NASA admin announced that the american space agency is working with Hollywood actor Tom Cruise and Tesla founder Elon Musk to create a movie shot in outer space aboard ISS.

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