900 319 0030

India’s Manned Mission to Space

iasparliament Logo
August 16, 2018

Why in news?

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the definitive timeline for Gaganyaan mission.

What is ISRO's plan?

  • ISRO has announced its first manned mission which is set to be a reality by 2022.
  • By this, an Indian astronaut will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board ‘Gaganyaan’.
  • ISRO has roped in Indian Air Force pilots to identify the first set of astronauts for a human space flight.

What are the works in progress?

  • Launch vehicle - The launch vehicle for this mission is planned to carry heavy payloads into space.
  • The spacecraft carrying human beings, called crew module, is likely to weigh in excess of 5 to 6 tonnes.
  • For this purpose, GSLV Mk-III (or) Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM-3) is being developed.
  • This comes with cryogenic engine, with capabilities to deliver much heavier payloads much deeper into space.
  • Re-entry & Recovery tech - ISRO has already tested the GSLV Mk-III with experimental crew module.
  • It came back to Earth after being taken to an altitude of 126 km into space.
  • This this known as Crew module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE).
  • Crew Escape System (CES) - ISRO had tested the Crew Escape System, a mechanism for an advance warning.
  • System warns the crew module of anything going wrong with the rocket and pulls it away to a safe distance.
  • After this, it can be landed either on sea or on land with the help of attached parachutes.
  • Life support - The Environmental Control & Life Support System (ECLSS) is meant for humans inside to live comfortably.
  • It ensures that conditions inside the crew module are suitable for living.
  • The ECLSS -
  1. maintains a steady cabin pressure and air composition
  2. removes carbon dioxide and other harmful gases
  3. controls temperature and humidity
  4. manages parameters like fire detection and suppression, emergency support
  5. takes care of food and water management
  • Astronaut training - ISRO still plans to set up a permanent facility like a foreign facility, to train candidates for the first manned mission.
  • Candidates would be trained for at least two years in living in zero gravity.
  • It would also include dealing with a variety of unexpected experiences of living in space.

What are the challenges?

  • A manned space mission is very different from all other missions that ISRO has so far completed.
  • In terms of complexity and ambition, even the missions to the Moon (Chandrayaan) and Mars (Mangalyaan) are nowhere in comparison.
  • For a manned mission, the key distinguishing capabilities that ISRO has had to develop include
  1. the ability to bring the spacecraft back to Earth after flight
  2. building a spacecraft in which astronauts can live in Earth-like conditions in space
  • Over the years, ISRO has successfully tested many of the technologies that are required.
  • However, many other challenging ones are still to be developed and tested.


Source: Indian Express

Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.



Free UPSC Interview Guidance Programme