Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said thatthe India’s maiden human space mission “Gaganyaan”will be launched in 2023.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister said, with this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the major missions viz., Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of 2nd half of 2022. This will be followed by second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human robot developed by ISROand finally the first crewed Gaganyaanmission in 2023.
Referring to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in 2018, wherein he said that an Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board ‘Gaganyaan’, DrJitendra Singh said that the program got slightly delayed due to COVID restrictions, but preparations are now in full swing to achieve the mission by 2023. He said, the objective of Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to low earth orbit (LEO) onboard on Indian Launch Vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that more than 500 Industries are involved in the launch of Gaganyaan with several research modules including indigenous health research module. He said, this was made possible as for the first time in 70 years, the sector has been unlocked for private participation to make India a competitive Space market. The Minister informed that this is the most ambitious space programme undertaken by ISRO till date and it will give a big boost to the Science and Technology development within the country, besides inspiring the Youth and Satrt-ups to take up bigger challenges and enhance the prestige of the country.
The current status of Gaganyaanprogramme is as follows:
- The astronaut training facility is getting established at Bengaluru and in advanced stage of completion. Basic Aeromedical training and flying practice completed as part of Indian leg of training.
- The design of all systems of Gaganyaan has been completed. Realisation of various systems are in different stages of progress. Ground qualification tests of human rated launch vehicle propulsion stages have been already commenced and successfully progressing.
- The configuration and design of ground infrastructure has been completed and modifications needed are being implemented.
- The MoU, contracts and Implementation arrangement (IA) related activities with both national and international agencies are progressing well. Receipt of deliverables has commenced against contracts with M/s Glavkosmos (Russian Space Agency) for space suit, crew seat and View port. Also receipt of deliverables under various work packages of CNES (French Space Agency) IA has commenced.
- The activities related to development of microgravity experiments have commenced, the conceptual design for experiments is under review.