India’s Gaganyaan Mission: A Milestone in Space Exploration

India officially announces 4 Indian astronauts for the #Gaganyaan mission to space. This is going to be the first human spaceflight mission of India ! 

India’s space program has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s. From launching its first satellite, Aryabhata, in 1975 to sending a spacecraft to Mars in 2014, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has achieved several milestones over the years. However, the Gaganyaan mission, which aims to launch a human crew to space, is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious projects taken up by ISRO.

India's Prime Minister made a historic announcement during his visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, unveiling plans for the nation's inaugural crewed space mission. The selected astronauts for this mission include 

  1. Group Captain Prashanth Balakrishnan Nair
  2. Group Captain Ajit Krishnan
  3. Group Captain Angad Pratap
  4. Wing Commander Subhanshu Shukla

The Genesis of Gaganyaan

ISRO-Roscosmos Collaboration

In June 2019, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) joined hands with Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, through a memorandum of understanding. This collaboration aimed at training the selected astronauts for the mission.

Training Regimen

The four chosen astronauts underwent rigorous training at Russia’s renowned Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre from February 2020 to March 2021. This intensive training prepared them for the challenges of space travel, imparting essential skills for their upcoming mission.

What is Gaganyaan Mission?

  • Mission Objective: The Gaganyaan mission is an upcoming space mission that aims to demonstrate ISRO's human spaceflight capabilities. The mission will involve launching a human crew to an orbit of 400 km and bringing them back safely to earth. 
  • Financial Implications: The estimated cost of the Gaganyaan Programme is approximately Rs 9023 crore. 
  • Launch Vehicle: The launch vehicle for the mission will be the GSLV Mk III, also known as LVM-3, which has been renamed as Human Rated LVM-3 after being reconfigured to meet human safety demands. 
  • The astronauts who are short-listed for the Gaganyaan mission will be trained in Russia and will be familiarized with flying in weightless conditions during the course of their training. 
  • The Gaganyaan mission is a collaborative endeavor that unites forces from various sectors such as the Indian Armed Forces, Defence Research Development organization, Indian Meteorological Department, Indian maritime agencies such as the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India, National Institute of Oceanography, National Institute of Ocean Technology, academic institutes, CSIR Labs, and industry partners.

Orbital Module

One of the critical components of the Gaganyaan mission is the Orbital Module (OM), which will orbit Earth and comprise the Crew Module (CM) and Service Module (SM). CM is the habitable space with an Earth-like environment in space for the crew. It is designed for re-entry to ensure the safety of the crew during descent till touchdown. The SM will be used for providing necessary support to CM while in orbit.


The Gaganyaan mission, India's first manned space mission, is expected to have several significant benefits for the country. 
  1. The mission will enhance the levels of science and technology in the country and inspire young people to take an interest in these fields. It will provide a great opportunity for Indian scientists and engineers to develop and test new technologies and gain valuable experience in human spaceflight.
  2. The mission will involve many different agencies, laboratories, disciplines, industries, and departments, leading to improvements in industrial growth. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be the lead agency for the mission, but it will collaborate with other government agencies and private companies to develop the necessary technology and infrastructure. This collaboration will provide opportunities for Indian industry to develop new products and services and create jobs in the space sector.
  3. The Gaganyaan mission will focus on developing technology that can benefit society as a whole. For example, the mission will develop technology for environmental monitoring, disaster management, and telemedicine. This will help to improve the quality of life for people in India and other countries.
  4. The mission will improve international collaboration in the space sector. India has been a member of the International Space Station (ISS) program since 2008 and has collaborated with several countries in this regard. However, one ISS may not be enough to meet the needs of all countries. Therefore, regional ecosystems will be needed, and the Gaganyaan mission will focus on regional needs such as food, water, and energy security. This will help to establish India as a leader in the regional space community and improve its relations with other countries.
  5. The Gaganyaan mission will promote collaboration between academia and industry, which will help carry out development activities for national development. This will help to create a strong ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship, which will be essential for the growth of the Indian space sector.

However, the Gaganyaan mission also faces several challenges. 

  1. Firstly, ISRO will have to develop all the technologies required for human survival from scratch, making the process time-consuming. 
  2. Secondly, due to the lack of adequate facilities in India, astronauts shortlisted for the Gaganyaan mission have been trained overseas. 
  3. Thirdly, the mission must not only be successful but also cost-effective. Developing low-cost but highly effective technology is challenging. 
  4. Lastly, safely escorting human astronauts back to Earth will be a big challenge.

In conclusion, the Gaganyaan mission is a significant step towards India’s space exploration journey. The mission will not only demonstrate India’s human spaceflight capabilities but also help develop technology for social benefits and improve international collaboration. The successful completion of the mission will undoubtedly inspire future generations to take up careers in science and technology and help India achieve new heights in space exploration.

 #Gaganyaan #moon #Indian #ISRO,upscmains,hpasmains,prelims,upscnotes,scienceandtechnology

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