Gaganyaan set to launch in 2023
- India’s maiden human space exploration programme ‘Gaganyaan’ will be launched in 2023; the Union Minister of State for the department of space Jitendra Singh stated in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
- With this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.
- The mission, originally scheduled for a launch by 2022, was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic.
- The Gaganyaan mission envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
- It will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run.
- The major missions, Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Unscrewed mission of Ganganyaan (GI) are scheduled during the beginning of the second half of the next year – 2022.
- The second unscrewed mission carrying ‘Vyommitra’ a spacefaring human-robot developed by the Indian Space Agency – ISRO will be launched by the end of 2022 and finally the first crewed Gaganyaan mission in the year 2023.
Benefits of undertaking Gaganyaan programme:
- Some of the benefits of undertaking the mission are as follows:
- Progress towards a sustained and affordable human and robotic programme to explore the solar system and beyond.
- Advanced technology capability for undertaking human space exploration, sample return missions and scientific exploration.
- Future capability to actively collaborate in global space station development & to carry out scientific experiments of interest to the nation.
- Create a broad framework for wider Academia-Industry partnership in taking up development activities for national development.
- Ample scope for employment generation and human resource development in advanced science and R&D activities.
- The programme will strengthen international partnerships and global security through the sharing of challenging and peaceful goals. Having a vibrant human spaceflight programme can be leveraged as a potent foreign policy tool.
Current status of the Gaganyaan Mission:
- The astronaut training facility is getting established in Bengaluru and in an advanced stage of completion.
- The design of all systems of Gaganyaan has been completed.
- Ground qualification tests of human-rated launch vehicle propulsion stages have been already commenced and successfully progressing.
- The configuration and design of ground infrastructure have been completed and modifications needed are being implemented.
- The MoU related activities with both national and international agencies are progressing; receipt of deliverables has commenced against contracts with M/s Glavkosmos (Russian Space Agency) for spacesuit, crew seat and Viewport.
- The activities related to the development of microgravity experiments have commenced, the conceptual design for experiments is under review.