Missions to Moon. Mission to Mars. And to Venus. The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has a lot to show and has its sights set on a lot more. An organisation that keeps its focus squarely on a world that has no limits is now planning to offer a small bit of itself through space-themed merchandise (merch) that will revolve around the many missions it has made possible from the time it was established in 1969.
To put a count to those: 111 spacecraft missions; 79 launch missions; 10 student satellites; 328 foreign satellites belonging to 33 countries… and counting.
Isro’s launch plan for its merchandise is, however, simple. It will rope in industry to manufacture customised Isro-theme T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, key chains, games, jigsaw puzzle and so on.
Isro officials said that of late, many agencies interested in creating customised articles had approached it. The space agency hopes through these items it can create awareness and kindle an interest, especially among students, in space science and technology, while also propagating the achievements of the agency.
Isro proposes to identify and authorise the parties on a “non-exclusive basis”, with a registration fee for sharing the themes, general arrangement drawings, images or any other design to be used appropriately without causing any damage to its image.
Isro’s Isat-3D advanced meteorological satellite on display during the Aero India air show in Bengaluru | File photo: Bloomberg
Specific samples of Isro identifiers will be catalogued and made available on Isro’s website, under the Capacity Building Programme Office (CBPO), and updated from time to time. Parties or agencies interested in creating such merchandise can make use of these resources by registering with the space agency.
Isro said that the partner should avoid using the Isro identifier, imagery, etc on products such as doormats, slippers, or any such items, which might affect the reputation or image of the organisation. Wherever 3D models and 2D drawings are being used to make scaled models, game sets, jigsaw puzzle, and so on, extra care will be taken to ensure accuracy.
Isro will audit the manufacturer’s products and may even terminate the licence agreement if there are violations of the guidelines.
The organisation said the rates for the merchandise will be reasonable, in line with the market, as there is no brand value charged by Isro.
While some e-commerce websites sell T-shirts with the Isro logo, officials said the organisation has no official tie-up with them.
The idea to launch Isro merchandise has been under discussion for a while now.
Former chairman K Radhakrishnan spoke about it in 2013. And the current chairman, K Sivan, who has initiated several outreach programmes to connect with people, especially students, is giving shape to it.