Prelims level : Science & Tech / Mains: Paper – III Space Mains level :
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  • Gaganyaan, the human space flight Programme green-flagged and set for 2022. State-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fly an Indian astronaut into space for the first time by 2022.


  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to develop and launch a two-person crew to low Earth orbit.
  • Most of the critical technologies and hardware required for the project are ready or have been demonstrated by its centres.
  • When it achieves the mission, India would be the fourth nation to circle Earth after the Soviets, the Americans and the Chinese.
  • Previously in 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian cosmonaut to fly into space on-board Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Timeline for Human Space Programme:

  • ISRO revealed the first germ of an HSP in November 2004 and got incremental funds for supporting projects over the next few years.
  • In the last few years, it did a lot of groundwork as part of R&D at our centres. ISRO have developed most of the critical technologies needed for a human mission.
  • It could not go ahead mainly because the GSLV Mark III vehicle was not ready until last year.
  • ISRO demonstrated the flight of a crew module and its re-entry in 2014.
  • On July 5 this year, ISRO conducted an experiment for emergency escape of astronauts called the Pad Abort Test. It will be repeated at higher distances.
  • The rest of the technologies are getting ready and will be realised in time.
  • The most critical elements of the human mission are the Environment Control and Life Support Systems that make the crew capsule liveable and the flight safe for the astronauts, food and hygiene are other aspects. These technologies are getting ready while space suits are being developed at ISRO.
  • ISRO will set up a full-fledged training facility in Bangalore for training Vyomanauts. centre will train the selected Vyomanauts in rescue and recovery operations, operate in zero gravity environment, and monitoring of the radiation environment.
  • ISRO is planning to build a third launch pad at Sriharikota for manned missions with extra facilities like entry into the crew capsule and an escape chute.


  • Describing it more as a national mission than ISRO’s alone, It would raise scientific and technological temper across the country and inspire youngsters.
  • Manned flights is in keeping with India’s emergence as an economic and technological power house.
  • Space research is truly inter-disciplinary and has enabled true innovations at the intersection of multiple areas of science and by launching manned mission will make multiplier effect in other field.
  • Human spaceflight has enabled the emergence of new research: physical and life sciences in the area of fundamental and applied research.
  • By exploiting the unique conditions in space, particularly microgravity, scientists have begun to examine many fundamental processes in physics, chemistry and biology that would normally be masked by Earth’s gravity.
  • Experiments that have flown on the Space Shuttle and on space stations have already contributed to the development of new theories and the discovery of new phenomena. Such fundamental research offers good prospects for applications that will benefit society as a whole, notably in the areas of biotechnology, new materials, combustion, fluid physics and medical science.
  • This will further improve scientific knowledge and create new industrial applications for the benefit of society
  • But it is fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned spaceflight. we must develop advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society which we find in our country.
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