Almost 38 years after India sent a cosmonaut into space on a Russian aircraft, the country will become one of the handful of countries to embark on a crewed spaceflight again. The Gaganyaan mission, which will involve a manned mission in the year 2022 is part of the Rs 10,000 crore Gaganyaan Project. The plan is to send a 3-member crew into space, for around seven days.
The newly opened Human Space Flight Centre in Bengaluru will be responsible for key aspects of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Gaganyaan project. “HSFC shall be responsible for implementation of Gaganyaan Project which involves end-to-end mission planning, development of Engineering systems for crew survival in space, crew selection & training and also pursue activities for sustained human space flight missions. HSFC will take support of the existing ISRO Centres to implement, the first development flight of GAGANYAAN under Human Space Flight Programme,” says the official communication from ISRO, clarifying the exact role of the HSFC.
This comes after the Government’s major push for the Gaganyaan project. “Our space programe Gaganyaan will make India the launchpad of satellites for the world and place an Indian astronaut into space by 2022, which reflects the seventh dimension of our vision which aims at the outer skies,” the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had said during the interim Budget speech last week. In December, the cabinet had approved Rs 10,000 crore for the project, after repeated mentions of the need for India to assert its prowess in space, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Gaganyaan project will involve a first unpiloted flight next year, in December 2020. The second stage of the project will involve a crewed mission flying into space in December 2021.