IN-SPACe’s Authorisation Guide for Undertaking Space Activities

Recently, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) released guidelines regarding the grant of permission for undertaking space activities.

IN-SPACe, an autonomous body under the Department of Space, acts as the single window agency for the authorisation of space activities by government entities as well as non-government entities.

The guidelines have been issued in pursuance of the Indian Space Policy, 2023 which envisages allowing non-government entities to undertake end-to-end space activities subject to IN-SPACe guidelines. As per the policy, IN-SPACe is to grant authorisations for space activities including the establishment and/or operations of space objects, launch and operation of launch vehicles including sub-orbital launches, etc.

The processing of applications seeking authorisation is expected to be completed in 75-120 days. This depends on the activity for which the authorisation is sought, timely responses from concerned entities, and other factors. Apart from elaborating on the authorisation process, and the space activities that need such authorisation, the new guidelines list the requirements pertaining to insurance, appropriate contract clauses, and so on, to address third-party liability.

Notably, only Indian entities are permitted to apply for authorisation; a non-Indian entity can apply through an Indian entity which could be its Indian subsidiary, joint venture or any other collaboration arrangement recognised by the Government of India. With respect to certain categories of authorisations, the authorised representative or dealer of non-Indian entities can seek authorisation.

Last month, the new liberalised entry routes for the space sector were notified vide the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) (Third Amendment) Rules, 2024. The new developments certainly showcase the country’s commitment to its space sector ambition to cater to 8% of the global demand by 2033.