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           capsule, safe crew ejection mechanism in case of rocket failure, and the power- ful GSLV-MkIII launch vehicle besides developing flight suit and conduct pad abort test. We successfully achieved all of this, thus removing all the hurdles for this ambitious project. The designing of re-entry space capsule was crucial as due to the friction caused by re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the space capsule experiences tremendous heat. The heat seal of the vehicle protects the crew and the temperature inside the capsule is reg- ulated. However, the flames and blaze it causes are clearly visible. The entire capsule is enveloped in flames and the ab- lative layers it is coated with keep slicing off. During re-entry, when the parachute opens to slow down the capsule’s speed after re-entering the Earth, it has to be at the correct time and strong enough to sustain high forces. There were many such technical challenges which had to be confronted, that too with no scope of any error.
HUMAN FACTOR AND TRAINING
Experiencing zero gravity is a major chal- lenge. The human body takes roughly 36 to 48 hours to acclimatise to zero gravity once in space. There is medical problem like space sickness, similar to travel sick- ness. When you return, it takes about that much time to re-adapt to gravity. Moreover, it is physically impossible to create zero gravity on Earth, therefore, all acclimatisation and adjustments have
20 SCIENCE INDIA APRIL, 2021
A computer generated graphic of Gaganyaan
to be adapted to on the job when one is in space.
Similarly, the gravitational forces one experiences during take-off or re-entry, are high and last longer than in aircraft and tolerance has to be developed for the higher g-forces experienced during space flight. The G-forces are experienced whenbeinglau“nchedintospace,andon
The human body takes 36-48
physically impossible to create zero gravity on Earth, therefore, all acclimatisation and adjustments have to be
re-entering the Earth.
To overcome all these issues, a one-
year training of selected four Indian Air Force officers commenced in February 2019 in Russia’s Zvyozdny Gorodok city near Moscow. Once these officers com- plete this training, they will be further trained at Bengaluru for module specific training. There will be three main parts to the training in India: a module on the overall project, a module for crew mem- bers, and a module on the flight hardware and software, each one being more com- plex than the preceding one.
GENESIS OF MANNED MISSION
Gaganyaan (‘Sky Craft’), the Indian Hu- man Spaceflight Programme, was accept- ed and formally announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2018. It will be the first Indian manned orbital spacecraft, intended to be the for- mative spacecraft of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. It is interesting to see when actually the planning for this ambitious project started.
Preliminary studies and technologi- cal development of Gaganyaan started in 2006 under the generic name “Or- bital Vehicle”. The plan was to design a simple capsule with an endurance of about a week in space, a capacity of two astronauts, and a splashdown landing after re-entry. The design was finalised by March 2008 and was submitted to the Government of India for funding. The funding for the Indian Human
climatise to zero gravity once in space. It is
hours to ac
adapted to ” one is in space.
on the job when
         Image Courtesy: Top left: Sputnik/ Aleksey Mokletsov; Top right: GQIndia.com; Left: ISRO/ Reditt.com















































































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