Gaganyaan is a mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022.
The space mission was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 in his Independence Day address to the nation. Ahead of the manned mission, ISRO plans to send two unmanned missions to space as part of the Gaganyaan mission. The first unmanned mission was scheduled to be sent in December 2020 and the second mission was scheduled for June 2021. However, the first unmanned mission has been delayed because of the disruption in ISRO’s work and operations on account of the coronavirus pandemic. The Gaganyaan spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit (LEO) of 300-400 kilometres. The total programme cost is expected to be under Rs.10000 crore.
Gaganyaan is significant because it is the first indigenous mission that will send Indian astronauts to space. If it succeeds, India will be the fourth country to have sent a human to space, the other three being the US, Russia and China. ISRO is developing the spacecraft and Russia is helping in the training of the astronauts.
Objectives of the Mission:
Improving international collaboration
Enhancement of science and technology levels in the country
A national project involving several institutes, academia and industry
Improvement of industrial growth
Development of technology for social benefit
Relevance of a Manned Space Mission for India:
Boost to industries: The Indian industry will find large opportunities through participation in the highly demanding Space missions. Gaganyaan Mission is expected will source nearly 60% of its equipment from the Indian private sector.
Employment: According to the ISRO chief, the Gaganyaan mission would create 15,000 new employment opportunities, 13,000 of them in private industry and the space organisation would need an additional manpower of 900.
Technological development: Human Space flights are frontier field in the science and technology. The challenges the Human Space Flights provide to India, and the benefits accruing from taking up those missions will be very high and will lead to further thrust for technological developments in India.
Spurs research and development: It will boost good research and technology development. With a large number of researchers with proper equipment involved, HSF will thrust significant research in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resources mining, planetary chemistry, planetary orbital calculus and many other areas
Motivation: Human space flight will provide that inspiration to the youth and also the national public mainstream. It would inspire young generation into notable achievements and enable them to play their legitimate role in challenging future activities
Prestige: India will be the fourth country to launch human space mission. The Gaganyaan will not only bring about prestige to the nation but also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry.
Conclusion:-The success of Gaganyaan can lead to many more experiments with spaceflight missions. It will also give a filip to India’s dream of setting up its own space station.