ISRO Missions and Discoveries

[pib] Cabinet approves Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative: Gaganyaan ProgrammePIBPrelims Only


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Gaganyaan  Mission

Mains level: India’s aspiration for a manned mission in Space.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan Programme with demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative.

Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative

  1. This will demonstrate capability of the mission to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days.
  2. A human rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission.
  3. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.
  4. The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme.
  5. ISRO will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.

Implementation Strategy and Targets

  1. Gaganyaan Programme will be a national effort in collaboration with Industry, Academia and other scientific agencies and laboratories as stake holders along with ISRO.
  2. ISRO will be responsible for realizing the flight hardware through Industry.
  3. National agencies, laboratories and Academia will participate in crew training, human life science technology development initiatives as well as design reviews.
  4. First human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction.
  5. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.

Expected Outcomes

  1. The programme is expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains.
  2. Huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
  3. Human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies.
  4. The programme is expected to give impetus to economic activities within the country in terms of employment generation, human resource development and enhanced industrial capabilities.
  5. Human Spaceflight capability will enable India to participate as a collaborating partner in future Global space exploration initiatives with long term national benefits.

Developments so far

  1. ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a 3-member crew module in low earth orbit.
  2. ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight.
  3. The aerodynamic characterization of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight.
  4. Elements of life support system and Space suit also have been realized and tested.
  5. In addition, the orbital & re-entry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Re-entry experiment (SRE) mission.

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