ISRO’s ambitious Gaganyaan mission is underway, and as reported in several publications, in his address to the nation on Wednesday, PM Narendra Modi announced that by 2022, one Indian would carry the tricolour to space, to commemorate India’s 75th year of independence.
In apparent preparation for the Gaganyaan mission, ISRO conducted its first ‘pad abort’ test last month, which was successful. You can read about the test, here.
Here are 10 things you should know about the Gaganyaan mission.
1. The mission will be formally launched by 2022, and if it is successful, India will become the fourth nation after the USA, Russia and China, to send a human to space.
2. ISRO will set up a full-fledged training facility in Bengaluru to train astronauts.
3. Gaganyaan joins Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar probe, and Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission project, orbiting Mars since September 24th, 2014.
4. Rakesh Sharma, the former IAF pilot who flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 as part of the Intercosmos programme, and was the first Indian to venture into space, gave his thumbs up to the Prime Minister’s plan. According to NDTV, he said that the ambitious mission is a ‘coming of age’ and a ‘natural corollary’ of every space programme.
5. ISRO will deploy its biggest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), from Sriharikota, to send the Gaganyaan space capsule into orbit.
6. In its maiden mission, the 3.7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 400 km (250mi) for up to 7 days, with a 3-person crew on board.
7. The module was manufactured in Bengaluru-based HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), and its first uncrewed experimental flight was on December 18th, 2014.
8. The space capsule has life control and environmental control systems and is equipped with emergency mission abort and emergency escape, that can be done at the first and second stage of the rocket.
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9. A crewed mission into space will require about USD 124 billion, and a period of 7 years.
10. This spacecraft would be smaller than the current Russian Soyuz, Chinese Shenzhou, NASA’s planned Orion spacecraft, or past Apollo capsules, but slightly larger than the past US Gemini Spacecraft.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)