ISRO: India working on manned flight mission

A number of critical technologies are being developed

Published - August 10, 2014 10:44 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

India’s scientists are on course to sending the country’s first manned flight to space, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Radhakrishnan said here on Sunday.

“A number of critical technologies are being developed for a possible human space flight in the future. A full-scale, unmanned crew module is getting ready to be flown onboard the experimental flight of GSLV Mk-III, to understand its ballistic re-entry characteristics,” Dr. Radhakrishnan told graduating students of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani-Hyderabad.

He said an experimental flight with a cryogenic stage, to be launched by the ISRO’s next-generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III, would soon take place, giving the organisation the confidence to take up its first developmental flight in 2016-17.

On India’s first inter-planetary probe vehicle, the Mars Orbiter spacecraft, Dr. Radhakrishnan said the mission was on the verge of creating history.

“The Mars Orbiter spacecraft has traversed nearly 88 per cent of its distance along its designated path to the red planet. The next operational milestone is the insertion of the spacecraft into the Martian Orbit on September 24, 2014. If successful, India would be the first Asian country to orbit a spacecraft around planet Mars, and the first country in the world to achieve it in the first attempt,” he said.

Recognising the increasing demand for communication satellites in the country, he said ISRO was open to partnership with foreign industries to acquire the best of technology and also to upgrade their current satellite platforms.

With the country having a constellation of 13 earth observation satellites, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, several new ones are being planned to replace ageing satellites, so as to enhance observation capability.

He also spoke about the yet-to-be launched Astrosat, a multi-wavelength space-borne observatory that would enable simultaneous observation of celestial bodies in ultra-violet, visible and X-ray bands.

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