What Is India’s Gaganyaan Program?

Gaganyaan is India’s most awaited human spaceflight mission set to be launched by 2023. Gaganyaan will be India’s first human space mission, which was initially set for December 2021. Due to the outburst, it was postponed to August 2022 to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence. This has been delayed due to the further developments in the pandemic. India’s Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said that the preparations for the Gaganyaan Program, which costs ₹9023 crores, are going full throttle to achieve the 2023 target despite the pandemic.

What Is India’s Gaganyaan Program?
via Wikimedia Commons/Indian Coast Guard

With the launch of the Gaganyaan mission, India will become the fourth country to launch a manned space flight. India will enter the elite club with the US, Russia, and China with the successful completion of the Gaganyaan mission. According to Singh, the validation of the crew escape system and other major test missions will be completed by 2022. India hopes to perform two uncrewed orbital flight demonstrations by 2023.. The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) humanoid robot Vyommitra will be carried by the second mission of the Gaganyaan program.

Objectives of the Gaganyaan programme

What Is India’s Gaganyaan Program?
via Wikimedia Commons/Dean Sumith

The objective of the Gaganyaan Program is to exhibit the indigenous capability of undertaking human spaceflight missions to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the short term and will lay the infrastructure for a sustained Indian human space expedition program in the long run. The Government of India has approved two unmanned missions and one manned mission as part of the Gaganyaan Program.

Benefits of the Gaganyaan programme

The Gaganyaan program will provide the nation with both tangible and intangible benefits. India will be able to explore the solar system and beyond with the spaceflight mission program that progresses towards a sustainable and affordable human and robotic programme. The program will be able to undertake human space exploration, sample return missions and scientific explorations with its advanced technology capability. The program also comes with the future capability to accomplish scientific experiments of national interest and zealously cofunction with global space station development. The national development activities will be accelerated with wider academia-industry collaborations by the broad framework that can be created with the program.

What Is India’s Gaganyaan Program?
via Wikimedia Commons/Dean Sumith

The Gaganyaan program also has vast human resource development and employment opportunities in the field of advanced science and research and development activities. The program is also looked upon as a great opportunity to encourage Indian youth towards knowledge, innovation and creativity in the field of science and technology. The sharing of challenging and peaceful goals with the program will also strengthen global security and international partnerships. The Gaganyaan program will also serve as an effective foreign policy tool.

The mission of the Government of India is to focus on achieving efficiency for continuous human presence in space after successfully accomplishing the Gaganyaan program. The Government is also planning to set up a space station as an extension of the Gaganyaan program. The detailed proposals and modalities including the human crew model for the space station will be worked out in the future. The nation will be able to conduct scientific and industrial research in myriad areas of fundamental, engineering and applied sciences at the space station.

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