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Gaganyaan, India’s Manned Space Mission


With the advancement of technologies, countries are trying every possibility to win over another and one of the modern and essential frontiers to prove dominance globally is Space. Every country is in the race to lead in the exploration of every aspect of space, to know the mystery behind it, send indigenous spacecraft, discover new resources on the planets, and look for the possibilities of life on various planets.

Gaganyaan, India’s Manned Space Mission

In the arena of space, the US and Russia dominate. Now the new competitor which has the capability of leaving them behind is China with its various plans to build its own space station, return samples from asteroids, and trundle on the surface of the Red Planet. In the midst of all this, planning an indigenous crew mission will prove to be a game changer for India in geo-political competition.

Till now, India has achieved the feat of reaching the Moon and Mars in a very cost-efficient manner and it also fulfils the demand of various countries to put their satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with the help of its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The first test-vehicle mission of Gaganyaan, India’s manned space mission, will now be launched soon in the coming months after getting much delayed, said R Umamaheswaran, Director of ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre.

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Recently, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) showcased two space equipment useful for Gaganyaan, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is the second crew module fairing (CMF) that ISRO has received for Gaganyaan. In June this year, ISRO’s VSSC also took delivery of the first CMF structure, built by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technology Limited

On 30 June, S Somanath, chairman of ISRO, said that the Gaganyaan mission will go through multiple tests and development flights, and the manned mission launch will not happen any time before 2024.

What is Gaganyaan Mission?

Gaganyaan is a Rs 10,000-crore mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to send a three-member Indian crew to space for a period of five to seven days and their safe return to earth. For the first time, it was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Republic Day speech from the Red Fort in 2018. The mission was initially scheduled for 2022 on the occasion of completing 75 years of independence. However, due to some issues, it was further delayed.

Before this mission, ISRO planned to send two unmanned missions in December 2020 and in June 2021 respectively, to space which is also the part of Gaganyaan mission.  But, the pace of the first unmanned mission has been impacted because of the disruption in ISRO’s work and operations due to the coronavirus restrictions.

  • The Gaganyaan spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit (LEO) of 300-400 kilometres.
  • Gaganyaan has huge importance for India as it will become the first indigenous mission to send Indian astronauts to space. And if the mission gets successful, India will be the fourth country to achieve this feat after US, Russia and China.
  • Spacecraft is being developed indigenously by ISRO and Russia is assisting India to provide training to the astronauts.
  • “The human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test-bed for future technologies,” the Union Cabinet had said in a statement while approving the project.
  • A crew module will be designed of 3.7 m in diameter and a height of 7 m, in which the three astronauts will leave for space.
  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram has been given the responsibility of designing the astronauts’ orange space suits.
    • The suit will have the capacity of holding one oxygen cylinder, with the help of which astronauts could breathe in space for an hour.
  • Every 90 minutes, The manned mission will rotate around the earth.
  • The astronauts will be able to see sunrise and sunset.
  • India will be visible to astronauts from space every 24 hours.
  • Experiments on microgravity will also be conducted by Astronauts.
  • The return journey will be covered in total 36 hours and it will land in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast.
  • For the successful launching of the mission, ISRO has worked on critical technologies such as crew escape system, re-entry mission capability, thermal protection system, crew module configuration, deceleration and flotation system, and subsystems of life support systems.

FAQs Related to Gaganyaan Mission

Q1.Which countries collaborated on the Gaganyaan mission?
Ans. France and Russia both have signed an agreement with India to cooperate in its first human space mission.
Q2. Gaganyaan will be launched by using which launch vehicle?
Ans. GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan.
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