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Small Step for ISRO, Giant Leap for India: Gaganyaan to Send 3 to Space for 7 Days

The Gaganyaan spaceflight will carry a three-member crew for a minimum of seven days in space at a total cost of Rs 10,000 crore. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of the programme.


Updated:December 28, 2018, 4:54 PM IST
New Delhi: The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday approved Gaganyaan, the indigenous human spaceflight programme.

The Gaganyaan spaceflight will carry a three-member crew for a minimum of seven days in space at a total cost of Rs 10,000 crore. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of the programme.

“A human rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission. The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme. ISRO will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives,” said the Centre in a statement on Friday.

The total fund requirement for the Gaganyaan programme is within Rs 10,000 crore and includes cost of technology development, flight hardware realization and essential infrastructure elements.

“Gaganyaan programme will establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organizations. It is expected to generate employment and train human resources in advanced technologies,” added the statement.

The Centre also feels that it will inspire large number of young students to take up science and technology as a possible career choice which will help in national development.

“First human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects,” read the statement.

The government is of the opinion that the programme is expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains.

“Huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc. The programme is expected to give impetus to economic activities within the country in terms of employment generation, human resource development and enhanced industrial capabilities,” said the Centre in its statement.

The ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a 3-member crew module in low earth orbit. ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight.

“The aerodynamic characterization of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight. Elements of life support system and space suit also have been realized and tested,” said the Centre.

On the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day on August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that by the year 2022, an Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey, on board ‘Gaganyaan’.

While talking about this major step for the country, PM Modi had said that the manned space mission on board ‘Gaganyaan’ can take place when India celebrates the 75th year of Independence in 2022 or, if possible, even earlier.

He added that “an Indian son or daughter” will carry the national flag on this trip. It will be one of the major missions undertaken in India after the Chandrayaan-1 (October 2008) and Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan (September 2014).

In a major claim, ISRO chairman K Sivan said that the mission will create 15,000 jobs in India.

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