The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022. The total fund requirement for the Gaganyaan Programme is within Rs.10,000 crore and includes cost of technology development, flight hardware realization and essential infrastructure elements. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.
ISRO will be responsible for realising the flight hardware through industry, national agencies, laboratories and academia will participate in crew training, human life science technology development initiatives as well as design reviews.
First human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.
Human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies.
The programme will also allow pooling in of diverse technological and industrial capabilities and enable broader participation in research opportunities and technology development.
It is also expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains and provide huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
The ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit
The aerodynamic characterisation of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight.
Elements of life support system and space suit also have been realised and tested. In addition, the orbital and re-entry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE) mission.
ISRO has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission. Globally also, there is a renewed interest in undertaking manned exploration initiatives.