India’s first human spaceflight “Gaganyan” has been announced lately. While we all can’t make it to space, we can surely baffle at this marvelous attempt which is launching 3 Indians into Space in 16 minutes. Indians in Space in 16 minutes, sounds like a movie title right? But it’s a reality and let us take a look at it.

What is it?

Three Indians, chosen for the country’s first human spaceflight programme “will reach space within 16 minutes of the launch from Sriharikota”. They will spend “five to seven days in the low-earth orbit before the crew module makes a “splashdown in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast”, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Sivan said on Tuesday.

He said “Isro will certainly launch the Gaganyaan by 2022”, the deadline set by PM Narendra Modi during his recent I-Day speech.

How will it be done?

Making a detailed presentation here, Sivan, accompanied by the minister of state for atomic energy and space Jitendra Singh, said, “A crew module carrying three Indians will be attached with a service module. Together, these two modules will comprise the orbital module that will be integrated with an advanced GSLV Mk III rocket. The rocket will take the crew to the low-earth orbit (300-400 km) where they will perform micro-gravity and other scientific experiments for a week.”

The Return Journey

For the return journey, Sivan said, “The orbital module will reorient itself. The crew and service modules will get separated at 120 km altitude. The crew module will apply aerobrake to reduce speed and parachutes will open just before the splashdown in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat. The return journey will take 36 minutes. In case of a technical problem, the module can land in the Bay of Bengal as a back-up.” He said, “The module will be the size of a small cubicle (3.4 m diameter) with a mass of 7 tonnes.” The Isro chief said the manned mission, whose preparation started way back in 2004, “will provide employment to 15,000 people”.

Mission Preparations

On mission preparations, Sivan said, “Isro will conduct the first unmanned test-flight within 30 months. The second unmanned test in 36 months. Finally, the first human spaceflight in 40 months. Most of the critical technologies needed for the mission like crew escape system have already been developed.”

On crew selection and training, Sivan said, “The spacesuit is ready. The crew members will be jointly selected by the IAF and Isro after which they will be trained for two-three years. We will send them to a training facility in Bengaluru. We are also consulting Rakesh Sharma (first Indian cosmonaut to go to space in 1984) for the mission.”

Source: Times of India