PM Modi earlier this month made an announcement in his Independence Day speech, which seems to be turning into reality too soon. Modi had said, “by 2022 or even before that, some of the young boys and girls will unfurl the Tricolour in space”.
Three persons including one woman are expected to be sent into space under the Gaganyaan Programme announced recently. The programme includes a total of 3 missions. First two missions of this programme would be unmanned before the final and the third mission is set to send our persons into space. The persons would remain in space for seven days and the spacecraft would be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km.
Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh informed that the entire mission is expected to be completed before 2022. Prior to the manned spacecraft, two unmanned flights will be sent within 30-35 months of the launch of the programme, while the manned spacecraft would be placed in the orbit within 40 months.
Mr. Singh further informed that in order to launch Gaganyaan, GSLV MK III will be used which is a three-stage heavy-lift launch vehicle. GSLV MK III has the necessary payload capability required for the launch. The Programme is expected to cost less than Rs. 10,000 crores, however with the participation of ISRO, industry, academia and other private and government agencies, the programme would prove to be a true national endeavour.
Jitendra Singh gave details regarding the system modules of the programme at the press conference. He disclosed the name of the Gaganyaan system module given by ISRO as Orbital Module. A combination of Service Module and Crew Module, the crew module will be 3.7 metres in diameter, 7 metre in height and seven tonnes in weight.
The three persons to travel in crew module will be selected by the Indian Air Force and ISRO jointly after which they will undergo training for two-three years. Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian who travelled to space would be assisting the crew. Also, support and assistance of friendly nations with advanced space programmes and space agencies is being sought for assured success of the mission. ISRO Chairman K Sivan informed that the project is in progress since 2004 and serious efforts are being made to finish it before 2022, the 75th year of India’s Independence.
With the successful completion of the mission, India will be creating history by being the Fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission.