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
- 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.
- 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.
- Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.
- The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realization of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the Gaganyaan Programme.
- ISRO will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.
Implementation Strategy and Targets
- Gaganyaan Programme will be a national effort in collaboration with Industry, Academia and other scientific agencies and laboratories as stake holders along with ISRO.
- ISRO will be responsible for realizing 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.
- The programme is expected to spur research and development within the country in niche science and technology domains.
- Huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
- Human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight.
- The aerodynamic characterization 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 realized and tested.
- In addition, the orbital & re-entry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Re-entry experiment (SRE) mission.