Page 21 - April 2021
P. 21

           Spaceflight Programme was sanctioned in February 2009, but it fell short of full political support and obtained limited developmental funding. Initially, the first unmanned flight of the orbital vehicle was proposed to be in 2013, then it was revised to 2016. However, in April 2012 it was reported that funding problems placed the future of the project in seri- ous doubt; and in August 2013 it was announced that all manned spaceflight efforts by India had been designated as being “off ISRO’s priority list”. In Febru- ary 2014, a substantial budget increase was announced and the project was re- considered.
The crew module manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had its first experimental flight on De- cember 18, 2014 without a crew. By May 2019, the design of the crew module was complete.
The Defence Research and Develop- ment Organisation (DRDO) will provide support for critical human-centric sys- tems and technologies like space grade food, crew healthcare, radiation mea- surement and protection, parachutes for the safe recovery of the crew module and fire suppression system. On June 11, 2020, it was announced that while the first without crew Gaganyaan launch has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic in India, overall timeline for crewed launches is expected to remain
The three astronauts who went to space aboard Soyuz T-11 spacecraft on April 2, 1984
unaffected, i.e., the launch of manned mission by 2023.
ISRO (Indian Space Research Organ- isation) needs to complete at least three key tests during unmanned mission prior to undertaking manned mission, which include an air drop test for the parachute system that will demonstrate the ability to successfully recover an orbiting space capsule; a flight of the test vehicle; and an abort test to demonstrate the escape of the crew in case of an emergency at the launch pad.
In its maiden manned mission, IS- RO’s largely autonomous 3.7 t (8,200 lb) capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km (250 mi) altitude for up to seven days
Snapshots from the historic flight of Soyuz T-11 spacecraft. Far left: Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma with Soviet cosmonauts Yury Malyshev and Gennady Strekalov. Centre: Upon arrival back on earth. Left: Sharma shares a light moment with Soviet compatriots.
with a two or three-person crew on board and will rotate around the Earth every 90 minutes. The human spaceflight will take 16 minutes to reach the orbit. It will help in providing employment to 15,000 peo- ple of which, 861 will be from ISRO. The three astronauts will be able to see India from space every 24 hours, while they conduct experiments on micro-gravity. For its return, the capsule will take 36 hours, and will land in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Gujarat.
The Rs 10,000-crore mission will be a turning point in India’s space journey. ISRO has developed some critical tech- nologies and already successfully tested few, like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configura- tion, thermal protection system, decelera- tion and flotation system, and sub-sys- tems of life support system required for Mission Gaganyaan. ISRO will perform four biological and two physical science experiments during the Gaganyaan mis- sion. The whole nation will definitely look forward to a successful launch of two unmanned flight missions and then the culmination of a historic first; Indian manned orbital spacecraft mission.
*The writer is an Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Shaurya Chakra awardee and retired as SAASO from Mainte- nance Command, Nagpur in 2017. He landed Antonov An-32 aircraft on High Altitude Advanced Landing Grounds (HAALGs) in Daulat Beg Oldi, Fukche and Nyoma.
        Image Courtesy: Left: Internet; Top:

   19   20   21   22   23