ISRO Chairman K Sivan has detailed about two unmanned missions as part of the Gaganyaan mission and unveiled Vyomamitra, the android robot that would be sent to space before the astronauts.
- The Gaganyaan mission is slated for launch in December 2021.
- At the inaugural session of a symposium on “Human Spaceflight and Exploration — Present Challenges and Future Trends,” Sivan had mentioned that before the launch of the Gaganyaan mission, there will be two unmanned space missions.
- One in December 2020 and the other in June 2021.
- As per the chairman, the Gaganyaan mission is not only aiming for the first human space flight but also will be setting up a platform for a new space station that will have continuous human space presence.
- Thus, to fulfil the future requirements, ISRO has initiated a full-fledged astronaut training facility near Bengaluru.
- The space agency is also collaborating with other space agencies like NASA and Roscosmos on human space flight and is learning from their experience.
- Also, ISRO is looking towards the Gaganyaan mission to assist it in the long-term goal of interplanetary missions.
- As far as the technology for the mission is concerned, ISRO has already demonstrated its capabilities by developing a 10-tonne payload-carrying launcher, space-grade parachutes, etc.
- The four astronauts for the mission have already been selected from a pool of Indian Air Force pilots and will go space flight tests soon.
- At the symposium, ISRO has also unveiled its space robot, the Vyomamitra, that would be sent to space in one of the unmanned missions before the Gaganyaan.
- Vyomamitra is a lady robot.
- The name is a combination of two Sanskrit words – Vyoma (Space) and Mitra (Friend).
- The robot is designed to perform life support operations, monitor module parameters, switch panel operations, etc.
- The robot would also converse with the astronauts, recognise them and can also respond to their queries.
- Environmental life support functions like detecting temperature changes in the cabin, change in air condition and warning the astronauts.
The human space flight is a big step in ISRO’s journey and it is toiling hard to make it successful.