The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days.
The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days. A human rated Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MK-III) will be used to carry the orbital module which have the necessary provisions for sustaining a 3 member crew for the duration of the mission. Reportedly, India plans to call its astronauts “Vyomnauts”.
The total fund requirement for the programme is Rs 10,000 crore and will include the cost of technology development, flight hardware realization and essential infrastructure elements. So far, ISRO has spent Rs 173 crore in developing critical technologies needed for the for human space flight. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of this programme.
The necessary infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme. India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate with national agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme Objectives.
This programme will put India in the elite group of countries who have sent humans in space. In August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Gaganyaan project.
What is Gaganyaan Programme?
The first mission is expected to be launched within 40 months. As per the plans outlined there will be two unmanned flights and one human flight where technology developed in India will be used to put three humans into a low earth orbit for 5-7 days.
In 2008, India had plans to put humans in space but due to financial crunch had to put the programme on a back burner. However, in 2007, ISRO had tested its re-entry technology through the Satellite Recovery Experiment – sending a satellite weighing 550 kgs into orbit and getting it back safely.
The agency carried out Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE), where a 3,745 kg space capsule was launched into the atmosphere on
the first flight of the GSLV Mk III and was safely recovered from the Bay of Bengal.
ISRO has been testing and mastering the art of making a spacesuit which will be used by Indian astronauts on their mission.
In 2018, the agency carried out a crucial Pad Abort Test when a 12.5-ton crew module was tested to practice rescues in case of an accident on the launch pad.