Cabinet approves Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative worth Rs 10K crore

New Delhi: The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday approved indigenous human spaceflight initiative, Gaganyaan Programme. Under the programme, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space. The total cost of Gaganyaan is Rs10,000 crore.

The total fund includes the cost of technology development, flight hardware realisation and essential infrastructure elements. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.

A human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a three-member crew for the duration of the mission.

The necessary infrastructure for crew training, realisation of flight systems and ground infrastructure will be established to support the programme. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate extensively with national agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the objectives of Gaganyaan.

National agencies, laboratories and academia will participate in crew training, human life science technology development initiatives as well as design reviews. First human space flight demonstration is targeted to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.

Human spaceflight programme will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies. It is expected to give impetus to economic activities within the country in terms of employment generation, human resource development and enhanced industrial capabilities. Human spaceflight capability will enable India to participate as a collaborating partner in future global space exploration initiatives with long-term national benefits.

ISRO has completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll which has the necessary payload capability to launch a three-member crew module in low earth orbit. ISRO has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight. The aerodynamic characterisation of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight.

Elements of life support system and spacesuit have been tested, in addition, the orbital and re-entry mission and recovery operations have been flight demonstrated in Space Capsule Re-entry Experiment (SRE) mission. ISRO has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission.