Prelims level : Space Technology Mains level : Awareness in the field of space
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Why in News:

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) work toward ‘Mission Gaganyaan’, to send three Indian astronauts into space.


  • The U.S objective, was to have a definite public-relations edge over the U.S.S.R. in the space race, which was marked by intense rivalry between two Cold War powers.
  • A breakthrough in space was a matter of prestige.
  • For ISRO’s plan, the prestige value of ‘Mission Gaganyaan’ is sky-high, ands same as the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Apollo Mission to the moon.

Problems faced:

  • If the mission, it would create certain problems which may affect India’s economic affairs. The programme of that scale and magnitude comes at a steep cost, monetary and non- monetary.
  • It is the non-monetary loss that matters more than monetary loss. Failure indicates a waste of time and resources.
  • A failed mission deeply hurts the image of the country in the eyes of the outside world.
  • It raises doubts about the capability of the nation-state in question.
  • Project development would play to the advantage of adversaries, politically and diplomatically. But, a failed mission of such magnitude could give voices in the opposition an opportunity to level criticism, perhaps weakening the incumbent domestically.
  • The diplomatic costs arise from the fact that losses in space missions can seriously impact the future of cooperation between space powers.

Outer space

  • Outer space is often referred to as the ‘final frontier’ by major world powers, with the prize for conquering it being more greatness on the world stage.
  • India’s credentials were bolstered after the successful anti-satellite mission recently
  • Success in ‘Mission Gaganyaan’ might provide India with that stamp of authority in outer space that it so keenly desires.

Mission Gaganyaan

  • The Prime Minister of India in his Independence Day address announced that an Indian astronaut would go into space by 2022, when India celebrates her 75th year of Independence. In pursuance of this goal, India and France have announced a working group for Gaganyaan. ISRO and CNES, the French space agency, will work together in the fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems, etc.

The Mission

  • Under the Gaganyaan schedule, three flights will be sent in orbit. Of the three, there will be two unmanned flights and one human spaceflight.
  • The human space flight programme, called the Orbital Module will have three Indian astronauts, including a woman.
  • It will circle Earth at a low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from earth for 5-7 days.
  • The payload will consist of:
  • Crew module – spacecraft carrying human beings.
  • Service module – powered by two liquid propellant engines.
  • It will be equipped with emergency escape and emergency mission abort.
  • GSLV Mk III, also called the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability.
  • The mission is expected to cost around Rs 10,000 crore.
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