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Three Indians to be sent to space for 7 days under Rs 100-bn Gaganyaan plan

If the Programme concludes successfully, India will be the fourth country after America, Russia and China to send human to space

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Union on Friday gave its nod for India's first indigenous human spaceflight programme, The 100-billion plan will carry three Indians for minimum 7 days in space.

Union Law Minister said that the programme will be executed in 40 months after the approval. "This (the programme) will enhance India's space power," said the Minister.

The programme will be executed by in association with academia and industry, he said.

will be working with the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bengaluru for training the crew and the Indian Air Force, which will select the crew.

aims to take the astronauts into space to a height of 350-400 kms above the earth and orbit around the planet, using an indigenous Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-III).

ISRO is expected to complete two unmanned missions before embarking on a manned space flight. Two months back, Isro took one more major step by successfully testing the next variant of GSLV Mk III, with indigenous high thrust cryogenic engine and stage.

Isro wants to make the mission “more and more” indigenous by utilising the facilities available in India, said ISRO Chairman K Sivan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence speech on August 15, 2018 had promised to send an Indian into space by 2022 — when the country will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its independence from British colonial rule.

If the Programme concludes successfully, India will be the fourth country after America, Russia and China to send human to space.

Sivan said the programme will enhance the science and technology of the country. It will inspire youngsters to do more. "Though the time line is tight, but we can do it. Isro already built the technologies that is required for a human spaceflight. With the Human Space Programme announcement by the Prime Minister most of the time of Isro will go on this Programme”.

He estimates that the human space mission will generate about 15,000 jobs over the next few years in the entire ecosystem.

Several of the critical technologies are already in place, including a crew module and a crew escape system. A prototype space suit has also been developed, said Sivan.

The Crew Module was flight tested in 2014 during an experimental mission of GSLV. It had successfully re-entered earth and was recovered. It may be noted that the technological preparations for the project were on track since 2004.

'Gaganyaan' journey

The rocket carrying the crew will take off from Sriharikotta space port near Chennai.

The capsule weight will be 7 tonne.

As the vehicle accelerates the crew will start feeling the pressure, if there is a problem at this stage then crew system comes and it will act and deduct or it will crew will be couriered far away within seconds.

Once the flight takes off in 16 minutes they will reach low Earth orbit and the crew will have sensation of floating. From here they can look at Earth.

Once they reach the Orbit they will be in orbital phase and will do meaningful science research. They will be travelling at around 7.5 kms per second.

During the return journey, challenge would start from the time they will reach atmospheric condition, while one side speed need to be controlled and other side the outside heat, while inside they would be feeling 25 degree thanks to the thermal protection system of Isro's.

Once they reach the Earth, physically they would have lot of change if it a long mission.

Isro is well geared up to successfully carry out the mission with its own launch vehicle technology, crew escape system, life support system etc.,

The most critical elements of the human mission are the Environment Control and Life Support Systems that make the crew capsule liveable and the flight safe for the astronauts. Food and hygiene are other aspects. These technologies are getting ready while space suits are being developed at ISRO, said Isro officials.

Facilities are being added or upgraded at a few centres that work on the HSP. The spacecraft will be monitored 24/7 from the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Centre in Peenya. A new dedicated control centre for HSP would be set up at ISTRAC. It must be tracked globally through ISRO stations or of other countries.

The launchpad at the Sriharikota spaceport, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, would be enhanced for the human mission. The Space Applications Centre which makes electronic devices and instruments for ISRO missions will also get refurbished.

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First Published: Fri, December 28 2018. 18:12 IST
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