Gaganyaan, Chandrayaan-2 and student outreach are this year priorities of ISRO

ISRO Chairman K Sivan addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday. Also seen is R. Umamaheshwaran, project director, ISRO. Photo R V Moorthy

ISRO Chairman K Sivan addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday. Also seen is R. Umamaheshwaran, project director, ISRO. Photo R V Moorthy  

The priorities of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) this year are on the human space flight programme Gaganyaan, launch a major student outreach and Chandrayan-2, said its Chairman Dr. K. Sivan on Friday.

“A separate centre called Human Space Flight Centre has been formed in ISRO. Gaganyaan project will come under it and that’s how we will target the first unmanned mission in December 2020,” Dr. Sivan said.

India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayan-2, which aims to launch a lander/rover on the moon is scheduled for April this year after some technical delays.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement last August that an Indian will go to space by 2022, ISRO has outline a roadmap to put a three man crew in a low earth orbit for a period of 5-7 days. As part of this, a crew module along with the service module together called the orbital module weighing seven tonnes will be mounted atop a GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.

As part of Gaganyaan, the target this year is to have the human rating of the launch vehicle and designing and certifying the crew module. Dr. Sivan explained that certain modifications need to be done in the launch vehicle to support human flight and then certified. “The design of the orbital module will be finalised in 2-3 weeks. Then the realisation and testing,” he stated.

The other aspect that ISRO will focus this year is the selection of the crew members and their training which is a long process.

Young Scientist Programme

Stating that this year ISRO is planning to expand its wings in areas it wasn’t before, Dr. Sivan said termed Young Scientist Programme (YSP) the as the most important in their effort to reach out to students.

Under the YSP, three students, eighth standard pass, will be selected from each of the 29 states and seven Union Territories and will spend one month at ISRO during which they will be given lectures, get access to research and development and will be given experience to build a satellite.

“If the satellite is good, we will launch it. This programme is similar to NASA’s student outreach,” Dr. Sivan stated.

This year ISRO has planned 32 missions including 14 launch vehicles, 17 space craft and one demonstration. The Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) is a very important experiment to reduce the cost of space programme in the long term.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:52:17 AM |

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