Draft National Space Transportation Policy 2020 – Norms, Guidelines, and Procedures for Space Start-ups

As part of the Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020, the Government of India allows private companies to build and operate rocket launchers and sites.


Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 is an integrated policy covering all aspects of the aerospace industry related to emerging companies in this area. The policy includes features that constitute rocket launches, launch pads, and space objects’ movement, among many others. Through this policy, the government has decided to allow private companies to build and operate rocket launchers within the country and abroad with the prior approval of the respective bodies.

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The government’s recently announced reforms to open up the country's space sector are encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in space.

Rules specified in the Draft National Space Transportation Policy

Authority of Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe)

As per the policy, any rocket launch by a private company (orbital or sub-orbital) can be undertaken with the Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) permission, the independent body of the Government of India.

Multi-site private launches allowed

According to the Space Transportation Policy-2020, companies can launch from privately owned sites, rental sites, or mobile launch platforms, including land, sea, or air.

Financial security

Under the draft guidelines, the IN-SPACe license requires a financial guarantee or insurance from the sponsor to meet the country’s obligations under international agreements.

Foreign laws need to be followed

In the case of launching from outside the territory of India, all approvals necessary for undertaking the scope of activities in another nation or region shall be under the applicable laws of the concerned nation/territory.

Compliance and Approval Updates

As per the draft, the proposer company shall ensure the compliance and approvals of the administration controlling the launch territory. The company must attach the certificate of conformity/license to the request of support.

Under the draft directive, the approval process will ensure that launcher exchanges at the government level do not impede the timely implementation of approved spatial plans to promote social development or safeguard national sovereignty.

India’s ‘New Space’ of Entrepreneurship

A “new space” has emerged in India, where private aerospace companies seek to unlock the commercial potential of small satellite navigation services by developing small satellite carriers for the global market. Indian players involved in space vehicle development are looking forward to using national government facilities for the same.

National Space Transportation Policy 2020

Investments are also being made in affordable transmission systems. As the government announces new reforms towards opening the potential of India’s space sector, it is presumed to attract entrepreneurs to fund cost-effective and quick turn-around space transportation systems for the global commercial launch services market.

More start-ups have tried to develop an autonomous space navigation system in the country in recent years, furthering the industry’s goal of promoting entry into the global navigation services market. With the new guideline, start-ups and companies have a fluid, technological and traditional way to strengthen the private ecosystem. In the long run, it will bring advanced technologies, including proprietary derivatives, that will benefit the Indian economy.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alumnus of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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