A private company in India, Astroborne Aerospace, is now developing its own commercial manned capsule as well as a commercial astronaut training facility, targeting as customers Earth-based tourists as well as those hoping to fly in space.
The capsule, dubbed Airawat, will seat six, and will be designed for suborbital flights, similar to Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule. The training facility will be on a four-acre site the company is presently negotiating either a lease or purchase from the local government.
The company says it has obtained investment capital, but also says that money will arrive next month.
Whether this deal is real or not is actually irrelevant. Its existence illustrates the underlying enthusiasm in India for private commercial space, now that the Modi government has ended the monopoly on all space activities by its space agency ISRO.