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First Abort Mission of Gaganyaan

Context

The Lok Sabha has been informed that the first of Gaganyaan, India’s first human spaceflight, will be aborted in May of this year.

Relevance

GS Paper-3: Awareness in the fields of Space

Mains Question

What is the Gaganyaan programme, and what are the possible effects of the Gaganyaan programme on India’s future in scientific research and space exploration? (150 Words)


Missions and timeline

  • The first test vehicle mission, TV-D1, is scheduled for May 2023, followed by the second test vehicle mission, TV-D2, and the first uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (LVM3-G1) in the first quarter of 2024. The second series of test vehicle missions, TV-D3& D4, and the LVM3-G2 mission with robotic payload are then planned.
  • In case the test vehicle and uncrewed missions are a success, the crewed mission will launch by the end of 2024.

What is the mission of Gaganyaan?

  • India’s human spaceflight programme, known as the Gaganyaan Mission, aims to demonstrate the nation’s capacity for crewed space missions.
  • The project entails safely returning a three-person crew to Earth and bringing them to land in the Indian Ocean after a three-day mission in an orbit 400 km in diameter.
  • Due to its ability to launch heavy payloads, the GSLV Mk III, also known as the LVM-3 (Launch Vehicle Mark-3) will be used to launch Gaganyaan.

Importance of the mission

  • The Gaganyaan mission was India’s first-ever manned space mission, placing India in the exclusive club of nations that have achieved this feat, including the United States, China, and Russia.
    • The mission is an important turning point in Indian space exploration history and a demonstration of the country’s technical prowess.
      • Developing India’s space programme: The Gaganyaan mission is a critical step in India’s efforts to develop its space programme.
    • India has made significant advancements in space research already, and this mission will aid India in strengthening its capabilities.
    • The mission will also open up new pathways for upcoming space exploration endeavours, including trips to the Moon and Mars.
    • The Gaganyaan mission is an accomplishment that highlights India’s progress and technological capabilities; o It has also generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm among the Indian public, which has boosted morale and motivated a new generation of young Indians to pursue careers in science and technology.
      • International cooperation: The Gaganyaan mission has created new chances for international cooperation in space research.
    • India has previously cooperated with other nations, and the Gaganyaan mission might result in additional alliances and joint missions in the future.
    • Interest in the mission has already been shown by other nations, and it is anticipated that India’s space programme will play a significant role in the development of the global space industry.
  • The mission will give Indian industry a chance to participate in space missions, with 60% of the equipment expected to come from the Indian private sector, enhancing the nation’s industrial capabilities.
    • Technological Development: o As human spaceflight is a cutting-edge area of science and technology, the mission quickens India’s technological advancement in a number of areas, including materials processing, astrobiology, resource mining, and planetary chemistry.
    • Strengthen Academic Organizations: o The program’s inclusion of academic institutions, government organisations, and other scientific bodies will create a framework for cooperation that will result in significant research advancements.

Conclusion

  • The Gaganyaan programme is a significant turning point in Indian space exploration history. It is anticipated to increase the nation’s technological prowess, foster national pride, and encourage young Indians to pursue careers in science and technology.
  • The eventual crewed mission, scheduled for the end of 2024, will be possible only after the test vehicle and uncrewed missions are successfully completed.

March 2024
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