Gaganyaan Mission Current Affairs - 2019

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Fact Sheet: India to have its own Space Station

K. Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently announced that the country is planning to launch its own space station and modalities for it will be worked out after Gaganyaan Mission (India’s maiden manned mission to space).

Key Highlights

Mastering Technology: Although ISRO made announcement of space station recently but it has been quietly working on a key technology such as space docking & berthing technology for which it has also got Rs.10 crore sanctioned earlier. Once the agency will master this technology it will help join two separate free-flying space vehicles and also transfer materials and humans from one another that will enable this future space station and is also the key for a space station.

Extension: India’s space station project will be an extension of Gaganyaan Mission, which involves sending three Indian astronauts to space for 7 days in lower earth orbit (of 120-400 km). The government has already approved a cost of Rs.10,000 crore for Gaganyaan mission. Before the maiden flight with crew sometime in August 2022, there would be two unmanned (without crew) flights from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

The detailed project report on setting up India’s space station will also be submitted to government after Gaganyaan.

No Collaboration: India will not be collaborating with any other country for its space station project. United States (US), Russia, China and a consortium of nations that own the International Space Station (ISS) are the only countries that have had space stations so far. After its successful launch India would become 4th country to launch a space station.

Features:

The proposed space station is anticipated to weigh about 20 tonnes, it would be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth and will serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for upto 15-20 days in space.

India is targeting 2030 as the date to launch country’s space station which will most likely be used to conduct microgravity experiments.

It is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by India.

What is a space station?

It is a spacecraft that designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and can be used for other spacecraft to dock as well as capable of supporting crew members, the most commonly known being the International Space Station (ISS).

International Space Station: It is a habitable artificial satellite in low earth orbit (LEO). It is the largest human-made body in LEO that completes multiple orbits around Earth every day thus can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998 and since then it has been inhabited continuously.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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MoU: signed between IAF and ISRO

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for astronaut selection and training for ambitious Gaganyaan Programme, scheduled for 2022.

Key Highlight

  • IAF has signed MoU with ISRO for crew selection and training for prestigious Gaganyaan Programme. The MoU was handed over by R G K Kapoor, Air Vice Marshal to the Project Director of Gaganyaan Programme, R Hutton.
  • The signing of MoU was an official formality that will now kick-start the selection process which would take 12-14 months following which training will begin.
  • Training: Most of the basic training will happen in India but ISRO is also looking for foreign help for advanced training. From IAF’s side, the Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) will undertake and lead the selection and training of astronauts.

Procedure Undertaken:

  • The IAM will first start with a pool of 30 aspirants, of whom, only 15 will be picked and given basic training.
  • As the plan is to send three member crew so IAM will shortlist three sets of three (i.e. nine) and will let one set go about three months before scheduled launch with others remaining in programme till the launch date.
  • The first set of evaluations will take around three months as IAM will have to ensure that it picks best crew whose physical condition is among best in India and they also have right mental make up.

About Gaganyaan Mission

  • Background: The launch of Gaganyaan programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address in 2018.
  • Gaganyaan Mission is India’s maiden human spaceflight programme, scheduled for 2022.
  • Updates: The Centre has officially sanctioned Rs.10,000 crore in December 2018. On 30 January 2019, ISRO has set up Human Spaceflight Centre at its headquarters in Bengaluru. Before sending humans to space ISRO plans to send humanoids so that it able to see a host of developments relating to project.
  • Significance: This mission will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space to India for conducting experiments and test for future technologies.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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