Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Design Review of India's Maiden Human Spaceflight Program to Be Completed in January

Credit: ISRO

The design review of India's maiden human spaceflight program 'Gaganyaan' will be completed this month, ISRO chairman K Sivan said Wednesday, days after the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the project.

The Cabinet gave its nod for the Rs 9,023-crore program last Friday. The objective of the mission is to carry a three-member crew to Low Earth Orbit and return them safely to a predefined destination on Earth.

"We have put a team to work on that. Design review is going on and we will be able to complete the design review by January first half," Sivan, who is also a secretary in the Department of Space, told PTI.

"Then, subsequently, realization will be in progress. First unmanned mission will be by December 2020, followed by another unmanned mission in July 2021. Then we will have the manned mission by December 2021", he said.

The two unmanned flights in full complement are to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects, according to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) officials.

"Safety is more important, we have to take humans to space and bring them back safely, that's more important, that's a challenging thing, that we are doing, we will be able to do it," Sivan said.

ISRO has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission, the space agency's officials said.

"Lot of work has been completed", Sivan said.

Critical technologies that are needed to undertake the mission are: Crew module system, crew escape system and environmental control and life support system, according to ISRO officials.

The space agency has already successfully flight-tested crew module.

Sivan indicated that ISRO may tap overseas expertise in the area of crew training.

"Mainly crew training...we don't have the facility in India right now to meet the (2022) schedule. We may have to go to foreign agency for crew training purpose," Sivan said.

On if ISRO would approach Russia or France for crew training assistance, he said: "We want to take maximum help from all the people, we don't want to restrict to one country".



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