Move over Gaganyaan, India plans sustained human presence in space: What’s more in store

Move over Gaganyaan, India plans sustained human presence in space: What’s more in store

Move over Gaganyaan, India is planning to have a sustained human presence in space. The Department of Space has envisaged a national effort to meet the goal of successful demonstration of human spaceflight capability and to achieve the vision of sustained human presence in space. Union Minister Jitendra Singh had said that India’s maiden human spaceflight module ‘Gaganyaan’ will be launched after the second unmanned mission planned in 2022-23.

More in store

* The Department of Space has put up for public consultation on the website of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the draft “Humans in Space Policy for India — 2021” and guidelines and procedures for its implementation. DoS believes that given the collaborative nature of human spaceflight due to its multi-disciplinary nature, it is essential to have a policy-framework, which not only fosters partnerships but also addresses proliferation concerns and compliance to existing policies, laws and treaties.

* According to the draft, human-spaceflight programme needs to be sustained over longer periods to deliver tangible benefits. Hence, it is essential that the policy enables sustained presence in low earth orbit and beyond through reliable, robust, safe and affordable means by undertaking appropriate capacity building measures like collaborations, infrastructure development, facilities modernisation, technology development and human resource development. This would also encourage new industries, create high technology jobs, enable socio-economic growth and further enhance India’s stature and role in space.

* “The Humans in Space Policy aims for sustained human presence in space as an instrument for development, innovation and foster collaborations in alignment with national interests,” the draft read.

* Various technological elements such as development of human rated launch vehicle, environmental control and life support system, crew escape system, deceleration system, crew selection and training, crew recovery operations, development of human centric products, and micro gravity experiments shall be undertaken by department utilising expertise of ISRO, national research institutions, academia, industry and other organisations.

* As part of demonstration of human space flight capability, department shall

* undertake developmental unmanned missions prior to manned mission. A standardised approach towards safety and reliability shall be adopted for

* mission assurance and success

* Indian human space program envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to LEO in the short-term and will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run. DoS with mandate to carry out space activities in India shall define a roadmap with regard to human space activities.

* In order to pursue the objectives as stipulated in Humans in space policy, the necessary technology and gap areas shall be identified. The thrust areas thus identified shall become part of technology roadmap of ISRO. The thrust areas will include key technology elements e.g. Regenerative life support systems, development of Rendezvous and docking systems, Inflatable habitats, extravehicular activity suits etc.

* Indian human space programme involves various national institutions, organisations and stakeholders. A suitable mechanism shall be constituted to ensure effective coordination and seamless execution among various agencies involved. Announcement of opportunities shall be floated for encouraging the participation of national research institutes/academia/industries.

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