The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is gearing up for launching a ‘small’ crewed space station. Dr K. Sivan, head of Indian Space Research Organization, has announced on last Thursday that India will not be joining the ISS. The aspiring project is an extension of the Gaganyaan mission that is aimed at sending an Indian crew to space in 2022.
Sivan said, ‘We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme. So, subsequently, as a long-term plan, we are planning to have the space station. We are going to join the international community in manned missions to the moon, asteroids. We have a clear plan for the space programme. We are planning to have a separate space station. We will not be a part of the ISS. Our space station is going to be very small. We will be launching a small module, and that will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments.’
The space station will weigh in at twenty tons and would provide support for astronauts for extended missions to space. It will serve as a consistent base for any space-based observations and experiments. Union Minister of State of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh said, ‘On the eve of 75th Independence anniversary of India in 2022, ISRO has resolved to send its first human mission into space. An exclusive special cell – Gaganyaan National Advisory Council – has been created to monitor planning, preparation of the mission.’
Indian Space Research Organization has been working with much smaller budgets when compared with Chinese and American space organizations. Nonetheless, the Indian Space Research Organization has already launched multiple globally important missions. The very first mission by the ISRO to the moon in 2008 was very crucial as it confirmed the presence of water molecules on the moon.
Back in 2014, a mission to Mars was a success within a budget of $74 million – a small fraction of the $671 million that had been spent by the US space agency NASA on a similar project. As of right now, there is only one completely functional space station in Earth’s lower orbit; the International Space Station (ISS).
Let’s see how the plan of the Indian Space Research Organization pans out!