Gaganyaan Mission

Gaganyaan Mission

News: Recently, PM Modi announced the names of the four astronaut-designates that will fly to low-Earth orbit as part of ISRO’s Gaganyaan space flight mission.
• The four astronauts are Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan, Group Captain Ajith Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap, and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.

Key Features:
• The Gaganyaan mission is India’s first human spaceflight program, spearheaded by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
• The mission aims to send a crew of three members to a low earth orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bring them back safely to earth.
• Human-Rated Launch Vehicle: A modified version of ISRO’s most-reliable rocket, LVM3 (previously called Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III), is the launching vehicle of the Gaganyaan Mission. It is re-configured as a human-rated launch vehicle to be capable of safely transporting humans into the intended orbit.
• Orbital Module: The Orbital Module will be orbiting Earth, comprising the Crew Module (CM) and Service Module (SM). The Crew Module is a habitable space with an Earth-like environment for the onboard crew members.
• Crew Escape System: The launch vehicle consists of a Crew Escape System (CES) as well as Orbital Module, along with solid stage, liquid stage, and cryogenic stage.
• Microgravity Experiments: The crew will conduct microgravity experiments during the mission.
• Training, Recovery, and Rehabilitation of Crew: The mission includes plans for the training, recovery, and rehabilitation of the crew.

Significance of Gaganyaan mission:
• The decision to send a country’s best and brightest on such an inherently dangerous mission is proof of how seriously it takes space activity.
• Politicians intuitively grasp the power of such missions to inspire future scientists and engineers.
• Such mission clearly demonstrates of a country’s technological prowess.
• The mission offers opportunities back on Earth. For example, ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre and IAF’s Institute of Aerospace medicine can serve as embryos for an astronaut training hub in India that heavily involves the private sector. 

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