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Gaganyaan Mission: India’s Ambitious Leap into Space Exploration

India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is embarking on an ambitious mission called Gaganyaan, which aims to send Indian astronauts into space. This significant endeavour will mark India’s entry into the elite club of nations capable of human spaceflight. Let’s delve into the details of this remarkable mission.

The Gaganyaan Mission: An Overview

Objective: The Gaganyaan mission aims to send a team of astronauts into space, orbiting 400 kilometers above Earth for a three-day mission, and safely return them by landing in the Indian Ocean.

Key Elements:

  • Developing critical technologies, including a safe launch vehicle, life support systems, crew escape mechanisms, and plans for training, recovery, and medical care.

  • Demonstrating the indigenous capability for human spaceflight.

Investment: The project has been developed with an investment of $1 billion.

Significance: If successful, India will become the fourth nation to achieve human spaceflight capability, following Russia, the US, and China.

Gaganyaan Spacecraft & Launch Vehicle

Launch Vehicle: The renowned Indian LVM3 rocket, previously used for the Chandrayaan-3 mission, will serve as the launch vehicle for Gaganyaan. It comprises solid, liquid, and cryogenic stages.

Human Rated LVM3 (HLVM3): The well proven and reliable heavy lift launcher of ISRO, is identified as the launch vehicle for Gaganyaan mission. It consists of solid stage, liquid stage and cryogenic stage. All systems in LVM3 launch vehicle are re-configured to meet human rating requirements and christened Human Rated LVM3. HLVM3 will be capable of launching the Orbital Module to an intended Low Earth Orbit of 400 km.

HLVM3 consists of Crew Escape System (CES) powered by a set of quick acting, high burn rate solid motors which ensures that Crew Module along with crew is taken to a safe distance in case of any emergency either at launch pad or during ascent phase.

Training for Astronauts

The selected astronauts, all from the Indian Air Force, undergo rigorous training, including:

  • Simulator Training: To familiarise themselves with spacecraft operations.

  • Water Survival Test Facility: To prepare for water landings.

  • Emergency Procedures: In case of malfunctions during the mission.

Milestones achieved so far

Precursor Missions: Gaganyaan-1

Precursor missions such as Gaganyaan-1 will demonstrate the levels of technology preparedness before the manned mission. The unmanned mission will carry an unpressurised crew module