India aims to spend less than £ 1.11 billion for its first manned mission to space scheduled to be launched by 2022, suggesting it is likely to be inexpensive than similar projects launched by the United States and China, said India’s Department of Space on Tuesday (28).
India has been grabbing the attention of the world as low-cost space power after the 2014 launch of an unmanned Mars mission at a cost of £57.44 million or less than a portion of the £520.86 m the US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spent on its MAVEN Mars mission.
India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious manned mission to space to be led by Indian space agency, The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which aims to send a three-member crew to space for five to seven days in a space vehicle which will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300 to 400 km, India’s Department of Space said sharing its plans for the country’s manned mission to space.
“ISRO has developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system etc required for this programme,” the statement added.
“ISRO has developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration, and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system etc. required for this programme. Some of these technologies have been demonstrated successfully through the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-2007), Crew module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment (CARE-2014) and Pad Abort Test (2018). These technologies will enable ISRO in accomplishing the programme objectives in a short span of 4 years,” said the Department of Space in a release.
“GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, which has the necessary payload capability for this mission, will be used to launch Gaganyaan (manned mission to space). Two unmanned Gaganyaan missions will be undertaken prior to sending humans. The total programme is expected to be completed before 2022 with the first unmanned flight within 30 months. The mission will aim to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days. The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. The total programme cost is expected to be less than £1.11 bn,” Department of Space highlighted in its release.
Giving info about the Gaganyan, ISRO Chairman, Dr Sivan said that, “It will comprise of a crew module and service module that constitute an orbital module. It weighs approximately 7 tonnes and will be carried in a rocket. The crew module’s size will be 3.7 mts x 7 mts. The crew will do a microgravity experiment during the mission. The crew will be selected by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO jointly after which they will undergo training for two-three years.”
India’s rival China sent humans to space in 2003, becoming the third country after Russia and the United States.