Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day address that India will attempt a manned mission into space by 2022 on board ‘Gaganyaan’.
Technologies that will help in sending an Indian astronaut to space – like human crew module and environment control and life support system – have already been developed, ISRO chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday.
Prior to the actual launch by 2022, the Indian Space Research Organisation will have two unmanned missions and spacecraft will be fired using Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III, Sivan said.
His remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day address that India will attempt a manned mission into space by 2022 on board ‘Gaganyaan’.
If successful, India would be the fourth nation to achieve that feat.
Is India prepared? Here’s all you need to know:
- The ISRO has been talking about a human spaceflight for over a decade. But it has been low-key, primarily because a mission had not been formally approved.
- Putting a human in space entails a lot of technical challenges which aren’t there in a normal launch.
- Apart from mastering new technologies, it also means a higher order of quality assurance for every small component.
- Aerospace experts say the ISRO has been working on several of the technical challenges over the years.
- The ISRO has already developed a space flight suit
- It is working on an environmentally controlled chamber for astronauts.
- On December 18, 2014, the ISRO tested the atmospheric re-entry of a crew module. Called CARE (Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment), the module entered the atmosphere after being separated from the launch vehicle, deployed its parachutes and splashed into the Bay of Bengal.
- Last month, the ISRO conducted a pad-abort test. The experiment was to demonstrate the safe recovery of the crew module in case of an exigency at the launch pad
- Rakesh Sharma, a former IAF pilot, was the first Indian to travel to space. Sharma was a part of Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition, launched on April 2, 1984, as part of the Intercosmos programme.
- Indian-born Kalpana Chawla and Indian-origin Sunita Williams are among the known names to have gone to space.
- Chawla was one of the seven crew members who perished in the space shuttle Columbia’s disaster during its re-entry to the Earth’s atmosphere.
- K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman under whose leadership the Mangalyaan mission was launched in 2013, termed the announcement of Gaganyaan mission a “turning point” for ISRO.
- ISRO is known for its space programme, focus on projects that matter to the day-day lives of people.
- However, of late, it has launched missions like Chandrayaan-1 (moon mission) and Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Mission) that has aroused tremendous interest among people.
- It will launch Chandrayaan-2, which will land a rover on the moon, next year.
Source: Outlook India