The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been facing delays with its highly-anticipated Gaganyaan mission, which aims to send Indian astronauts to space for the first time. Initially scheduled for launch in 2022, the mission has now been pushed back to 2023. The mission aims to send three Indian astronauts to low Earth orbit for seven days aboard a spacecraft called the Gaganyaan.
A national dream: First Indian crewed mission in Space
The Gaganyaan mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech in 2018, and the original plan was to launch the mission in 2022. However, due to various challenges and delays, the launch date has been pushed back to 2023. The ISRO has been developing the necessary technologies and infrastructure for the Gaganyaan mission, including the spacecraft, the launch vehicle, and the ground support systems. The agency has also trained a team of Indian astronauts for the mission.
The Gaganyaan mission is a significant milestone for the ISRO and India, as it will be the first time that Indian astronauts will be sent to space. It is also a testament to the capabilities of the ISRO and ability to undertake complex and ambitious space missions.
The astronauts for the Gaganyaan mission were selected through a rigorous process that included physical and mental aptitude tests and training in survival and emergency procedures. The astronauts have undergone extensive training in preparation for the mission, including training in Russia and the United States.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that four cosmonauts were shortlisted for Gaganyaan mission and in 2021 they completed their training in Russia. The Rs 10,000-crore ambitious project was earlier expected to be launched in 2022 coinciding with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. However, this has now been pushed to 2023.
“The Gaganyaan spacecraft will be launched aboard the GSLV Mk III rocket, a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the ISRO. The GSLV Mk III can launch payloads weighing up to 4,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit. The launch of the GSLV Mk III will take place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The spacecraft will be inserted into low Earth orbit by the GSLV Mk III, after which it will perform various manoeuvres to reach its final orbit,” explains Girish Linganna, Defence and Aerospace Analyst.
Three Indian astronauts will go to space for a period of seven days.
Downer: ISRO’s Woes and Shifting Timelines
There are several reasons behind the delays that the ISRO has faced with Gaganyaan. One of the main reasons is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the work schedules of many space agencies worldwide. In addition, the ISRO has also faced challenges with developing the necessary technologies and infrastructure for the mission. The ISRO has also faced delays due to issues with the supply chain, as many of the components required for the mission are sourced from overseas. The pandemic has disrupted the global supply chain, further contributing to the delays.
Another factor contributing to the delays is the fact that the Gaganyaan mission is a complex and ambitious project requiring the development of new technologies and the integration of multiple systems. This has resulted in technical challenges that have slowed down the progress of the mission.
Despite these challenges, the ISRO is working hard to overcome the delays and is committed to launching the Gaganyaan mission as soon as possible. In the meantime, the agency is focusing on other critical missions, including the launch of a solar mission in 2023.
It is important to note that delays are not uncommon in the field of space exploration, and the ISRO has a track record of successfully completing its missions despite facing challenges.
Overall, the Gaganyaan mission is a complex and ambitious project that requires the development of new technologies and the integration of multiple systems. The ISRO is working hard to overcome the challenges and is committed to launching the mission as soon as possible.
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