The mission will enhance India’s scientific and technological capabilities, inspire future generations, and contribute to global space cooperation, boosting India’s prestige and generating social and economic benefits.
India is a country with a rich history and culture, as well as a strong ambition and aspiration in the field of space exploration. India has achieved many milestones in space science and technology, such as launching satellites, probes, rovers, and rockets for various purposes. However, one of the most challenging and prestigious goals that India has set for itself is to send humans into space. This goal is embodied by the Gaganyaan mission, India’s first human space flight program that aims to send three astronauts into low-Earth orbit for three days by 2025. In this article, we will explain what Gaganyaan mission is, what are its characteristics, what is its role, and what is its impact.
What is Gaganyaan Mission?
Gaganyaan is a Sanskrit word that means “craft or vehicle to the sky”. It is the name of India’s first human space flight program that is developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at the cost of 90 billion rupees ($1 billion; £897 million). The mission aims to send three astronauts, also known as vyomanauts, into low-Earth orbit for three days by 2025. The mission will make India the fourth country to send a human into space after the Soviet Union, the US and China.
The mission consists of four test flights, including two uncrewed flights and one flight with a humanoid robot, before the final crewed flight. The first test flight, called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), was successfully launched on October 21, 2023, to demonstrate the crew escape system that can protect the astronauts in case of a rocket malfunction. The second test flight, called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-2 (TV-D2), will be launched in 2024 to test the orbital module and re-entry technologies. The third test flight, called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-3 (TV-D3), will be launched in 2024 with a humanoid robot named Vyommitra that will simulate human functions and communicate with the ground station. The fourth and final test flight, called Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-4 (TV-D4), will be launched in 2025 with three astronauts on board.
The crew module of Gaganyaan is designed to carry three astronauts and provide life support, thermal control, communication, and navigation systems. The crew module will be launched by a GSLV Mk III rocket and will orbit at an altitude of 400 km (248 miles) for three days before re-entering the atmosphere and landing in the Bay of Bengal. The crew module will have a diameter of 3.1 meters (10 feet) and a height of 2.8 meters (9 feet) and will weigh about 7.8 tonnes (17,196 pounds). The crew module will have four windows for the astronauts to view the Earth and space.
What are the Characteristics of Gaganyaan Mission?
Gaganyaan mission is a complex and challenging project that requires advanced technologies and capabilities in various domains. Some of the characteristics of Gaganyaan mission are:
- Crew Selection and Training: The selection process for the astronauts began in 2019 with more than 60 candidates from the Indian Air Force. After rigorous medical and psychological tests, four candidates were shortlisted in 2020. They are undergoing training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia since February 2020. They will also receive training at ISRO facilities in India on various aspects of the mission such as spacecraft systems, orbital mechanics, microgravity, emergency procedures, etc.
- Crew Escape System: The crew escape system is a vital component of Gaganyaan mission that can save the lives of the astronauts in case of a rocket failure during launch or ascent. The system consists of seven solid rocket motors that can pull away the crew module from the launch vehicle within milliseconds and safely parachute it to a predetermined location on land or sea.
- Humanoid Robot: Vyommitra is a female humanoid robot that will accompany the astronauts on their journey to space. Vyommitra means “friend in space” in Sanskrit. She is designed to simulate human functions such as breathing, blinking, talking, etc. She can also perform tasks such as switching panels, monitoring parameters, etc. She can communicate with the ground station and the astronauts using voice commands and facial expressions.
- Recovery Operations: The recovery operations involve locating and retrieving the crew module after it lands in the Bay of Bengal. The recovery team will consist of personnel from ISRO, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Air Force, etc. They will use ships, helicopters, divers, etc. to locate the crew module using radio beacons and GPS. They will also ensure the safety and health of the astronauts after their return from space.
What is the Role of Gaganyaan Mission?
Gaganyaan mission is not only a scientific and technological endeavor, but also a national and global aspiration. The mission has a significant role to play in various aspects, such as:
- Enhancing India’s Scientific and Technological Capabilities: Gaganyaan mission will enhance India’s scientific and technological capabilities in space exploration and applications. The mission will provide valuable data and insights on various phenomena such as microgravity, radiation, human physiology, etc. The mission will also enable India to develop and test new technologies and systems such as crew module, crew escape system, life support system, etc. The mission will also pave the way for future missions such as Chandrayaan-3, Aditya-L1, Shukrayaan-1, etc.
- Inspiring Young Generations: Gaganyaan mission will inspire young generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The mission will also foster a culture of innovation and creativity among the youth. The mission will also create awareness and interest among the public about space science and technology.
- Contributing to Global Space Cooperation: Gaganyaan mission will contribute to global space cooperation and collaboration. The mission will demonstrate India’s commitment and capability to participate in international space endeavors such as the International Space Station (ISS), the Artemis program, the Lunar Gateway, etc. The mission will also create opportunities for sharing knowledge and resources with other countries and agencies in space research and development.
What is the Impact of Gaganyaan Mission?
Gaganyaan mission is a landmark project for India that will have a lasting impact on the country and the world. Some of the impacts of Gaganyaan mission are:
- Boosting India’s Prestige and Soft Power: Gaganyaan mission will boost India’s prestige and soft power in the international arena as a space-faring nation. The mission will showcase India’s achievements and potential in space science and technology. The mission will also enhance India’s image and influence in global affairs.
- Generating Social and Economic Benefits: Gaganyaan mission will generate social and economic benefits for India, such as creating jobs, improving education, health care, agriculture, disaster management, and environmental protection. The mission will also stimulate the growth of the space industry and innovation ecosystem in India. The mission will also promote the development of regional and rural areas by providing access to space-based services and applications.
Gaganyaan mission is a proud achievement for India and a source of inspiration for the world. The mission will demonstrate India’s capability and ambition in human space flight. The mission will also contribute to the advancement of science and technology, as well as the welfare and development of society. Gaganyaan mission is a dream come true for India and a hope for humanity.
Also Read: Essay on Gaganyaan Mission for Students
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