Planned launch of India’s first manned spaceflight mission “Gaganyaan” in 2024


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India’s first manned spaceflight mission, “Gaganyaan”, is expected to launch in 2024, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh has said.

The mission was supposed to be launched in 2022, but this could not be realized due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted astronaut training in Russia as well as India,” Singh was quoted by an Indian news agency as saying.

The first test flight will be followed by sending a female-looking humanoid robot – VyomMitra – into space, probably next year.

The Indian Air Force had identified four fighter pilots as potential crew for the manned spaceflight mission. The likely crew had undergone basic training in Russia.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will send at least two astronauts to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2024 after evaluating the results of the two orbital test flights.

According to ISRO, the Gaganyaan program plans to undertake the demonstration of manned spaceflight to LEO in the short term and will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration program in the long term.

This space program aims to demonstrate indigenous capability to undertake manned spaceflight missions to LEO.

Under this program, two unmanned missions and one manned mission are approved by the Indian government.

The total cost of the Gaganyaan program is said to be around Rs 9,023 crore.

The human spaceflight program has both tangible and intangible benefits for India, including progress towards a sustained and affordable human and robotics program to explore the solar system and beyond; state-of-the-art technological capability to undertake human space exploration, sample return missions and scientific exploration and future capability to actively collaborate in the development of the global space station and conduct scientific experiments of interest to the nation.

It will also create an overall framework for a more comprehensive partnership between universities and industry in supporting development activities for national development.

It will create vast opportunities for job creation and human resource development in advanced science and R&D activities.

The mission will provide a unique opportunity to inspire and excite India’s youth and steer many students towards careers in science and technology into challenging jobs that encourage knowledge, innovation and creativity.

The program will strengthen international partnerships and global security through the sharing of challenging and peaceful goals. Having a dynamic manned spaceflight program can be used as a powerful foreign policy tool.

According to ISRO, the uncrewed missions are for technology demonstration, safety and reliability verification and will be heavily instrumented to study system performance before crewed flight.

The main new technologies required for the Gaganyaan program are human-capable launch vehicles, crew evacuation systems, habitable orbital modules, life support systems and crew selection, as well as training and activities. associated crew management.

Officials said during the test mission that the spacecraft would be launched to an altitude of 15 km, during which space scientists will simulate an abort scenario to ensure the return of the crew capsule. to Earth using parachutes.

The second orbital test flight will take the Gaganyaan crew capsule to a higher altitude and undergo a similar abort scenario to perfect the system.

The Gaganyaan program is going to be a major national effort for India. Overall program coordination, systems engineering and implementation will be handled by ISRO.

In addition, the human-capable launch vehicle, the crew evacuation system, the orbital module and the essential infrastructure will be realized by ISRO using in-house expertise and with the participation of industry, universities and national agencies. Private actors in the country have developed significant expertise in niche areas, and this will be effectively utilized in the program.

For the first crewed mission of the Gaganyaan program, astronaut trainees are selected from the pool of test pilots based on selection criteria jointly defined by ISRO and the Indian Air Force, which includes flight experience , physical condition, psychological and aeromedical assessment (including anthropometric parameters) .

After successfully completing the Gaganyaan program, the next step will focus on realizing the capability for a sustainable human presence in space.

ISRO also plans to launch the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon in 2023. Officials said there are two launch windows for the lunar mission in February and July 2023.


The above article was published by a news agency with minimal changes to the title and text


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