Cabinet approves human spaceflight programme

New Delhi, Dec 28 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/28/2018 10:45:27 AM IST

A plan to send 3 Indians to space for 7 days by 2022 has been cleared by the cabinet, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of the Rs 10,000-crore indigenous human spaceflight programme, Gaganyaan.

India will be the fourth country after the USA, Russia and China to send humans to space.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the 2022 deadline for the Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO, in his Independence Day speech, declaring that “a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolour in their hands” to coincide with India completing 75 years of Independence.

A human-rated GSLV Mk-III will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission, a government statement said. The programme, will demonstrate Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days.

The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. After take-off, the spacecraft, GSLV-Mk III, will reach the orbit in 16 minutes. The crew, while coming back to the Earth, could land in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast or Bay of Bengal or even on land, he added.

The Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III (GSLV-Mk III) is the heaviest rocket ever made by India and is capable of carrying large payloads.

ISRO, which will select the three-member crew in association with the Indian Air Force, has already completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll.

ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight. The aerodynamic characterization of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight. Elements of life support system and Space suit also have been realized and tested.

In addition, the orbital and re-entry mission and recovery operations have been demonstrated in Space Capsule Re-entry experiment (SRE) mission. ISRO has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission.

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