ISRO has announced that it has began preparations for the Gaganyaan mission. The space agency has announced that a management structure has been formed with a task to realise the mission.
- It is a mission to send three astronauts to space on a maiden human space flight.
- An indigenous space capsule to carry the astronauts is being developed by ISRO.
- It will be launched from GSLV MkIII launch vehicle.
- The mission is expected to be launched by 2022.
- Total budget allocated for the mission is Rs. 9023 crore.
- Astronauts will be selected from the pilots of Indian Air Force.
- For advanced training of the astronauts, ISRO has signed an agreement with Russia.
- As per the mission objectives, astronauts will be placed in an orbit at a distance of 400 Km from surface of the Earth. They will continue to remain in space for seven days.
- For the project, ISRO is set to deploy 861 personnel with an additional 700 workers for the mission.
- For the mission, a new centre named Human Space Flight Centre is set up in Bengaluru.
- Unnikrishnan Nair will be the director of the centre and of the mission.
- Already ISRO had conducted re-entry test and pad abort test with the prototype crew capsule.
About GSLV Mk III
- It is the heavy lifter of ISRO.
- The launch vehicle has three stages with a cryogenic upper stage.
- It has the capacity to put a payload weighting 4 tons in the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or a 10 ton payload in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
- It has two strap-ons named Vikas liquid engines and a core liquid booster named S-200.
- The first successful flight of GSLV Mk III was in 2017. It launched GSAT-19 satellite to GTO.
Significance of the Mission
- Only a few nations have the capability to launch astronauts to space. When successful, India will join the elite group.
- The success of the mission will prove to the world the technological capabilities of the country.
- It has the potential to imbibe scientific temper in the youth of the country.
- Missions like this will pave the way for space travel which is the next frontier for human inquisitiveness.