The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will start test flights for the country’s first human space flight mission from February next year. ISRO plans to conduct 17 different tests before launching the first unmanned space flight later next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Gaganyaan mission four years ago on the completion of 75 years of the country’s independence.
ISRO’s Human Space Flight Center Director, R Umamaheshwaran, in his address at the India Space Congress, said that ISRO also plans to use Chinook helicopters and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft for testing the crew module. He said that ISRO scientists have completed the design of the Environment Control System. This will ensure better living conditions for astronauts in the Crew Service Module as they orbit the Earth. He said that designing the crew module and environment control system was challenging as astronauts should feel comfortable even during re-entry.
He said, “The design of the crew module for the astronauts to sit and fly has been completed and its fabrication work is going on. We will get the crew module in six months.” This Mission Indian astronauts may go on the first space flight in late 2024 or early 2025.
Recently ISRO’s commercial unit NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) has successfully launched 36 broadband satellites of OneWeb from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. Bharti Global is the largest investor in low earth orbit satellite communications firm OneWeb. This is one of the big commercial orders for ISRO and NSIL. This is the first order in which LVM3 rocket has been used. OneWeb said it plans to provide high-speed connectivity across the country by next year. This is the 14th launch for OneWeb and the second launch of the year. With this the total number of satellites of the firm has gone up to 462. This is more than 70 percent of its plan to have 648 low earth orbit satellites.