Gaganyaan is an Indian Crewed Orbital Spacecraft planned by ISRO following the Chandrayaan 2 and 3. It is the first Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. ISRO is designing the Gaganyaan for sending 3 people on the moon. This planned upgraded version will be equipped with a rendezvous and docking capability. ISRO’s largely autonomous capsule will orbit the earth at 400km altitude for almost seven days carrying a crew of around 2-3 people on board.
Whats is Gaganyaan?
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Initially, it was planned that the crewed vehicle or Gaganyaan will get launched on ISRO’s GSLV Mk III this year in December. But now the mission is delayed and will not take anywhere before 2023. As of May 2019, the design work of the crew module has been finished. Human-centric systems and technologies such as grade food, crew healthcare, radiation measurement and protection, parachutes for the safe recovery of the crew module, and fire suppression system will be provided by the Defence Research and Development Organization.
In June 2020 announcement came which stated that the first uncrewed Gaganyaan launch has been delayed mainly because of the ongoing pandemic but the overall timeline for crewed vehicle launch still remains the same and unaffected.
History of Gaganyaan
The launch of the Gaganyaan mission is traced back to 2006 when the preliminary research, studies, and technology development of Gaganyaan commenced. It was called an Orbital Vehicle back then. At that time the plan was to design a simple capsule that remains in space for nearly two weeks with the capacity to carry two astronauts and splashdown landing after re-entry.
This design was finalized back in 2008 and was sent for approval to the government of India for funding and further process. After the design was approved by the government of India, the funding was sanctioned in February 2009. Though the mission received the funding it lacked the political support due to which limited developmental funding was received. The mission Gaganyaan several times lacked funding and the mission was kept on hold. Back in 2013, the mission was removed from the ISRO’s priority list but in 2014 the mission again got consideration and attention after which it became the main beneficiary of the increased substantial budget increase which was announced in February 2014.
The latest push for the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme came in 2017. The mission was accepted and formally announced by the Modi government. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced the mission on 15th August 2018.
The current plan is for a crew of three. Along with this ISRO will be performing two experiments related to micro-gravity during the period of the Gaganyaan mission. Instead of Liquid Propulsion System center is already working on monopropellant mixed with a formulation comprising of hydroxylammonium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, methanol, and water in order to replace hydrazine.
Mission Gaganyaan will require about 124 billion over a period of seven years. Out of this 50 billion will be used for initial crewed spacecraft. At the 11th five-year plan 500 million were released by the government in 2007 – 2008. Further in December 2018, more than 100 billion were approved by the government for the 7 days crewed flight mission. which includes taking 3 astronauts to the moon.
Astronauts’ training center was set up by The Director of Satish Dhawan Space Center Madhavan Chandradathan. This newly established Human Flight space center will be coordinating the IHSF efforts. The existing launch facilities will be upgraded accordingly for the Indian Human Spacecraft Project along with all the extra facilities needed for the launch escape system.
Russia will be helping India for training the astronauts. It will also support some of the aspects related to the development of the launcher. The full-scale mock-up of the crew capsule was already provided to Satish Dhawan Space Centre for the training of astronauts back in 2009.
Building blocks such as re-entry space capsule, pad abort test, safe crew ejection mechanism as a backup for rocket failure, flight suit developed by DEBEL, and the powerful GSLV – MKIII are already developed and tested.
o far the mission is been delayed due to the Covid -19 as we said earlier there are no chances of this getting launched this year. Though most of the things are already developed and tested, there are still many things that need to be done. Indians will have to wait for an official confirmation from ISRO regarding all the ISRO missions.
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