All you need to Know About ISRO's Gaganyaan

The Gaganyaan mission, worth Rs 10,000 crore, was supposed to send a four-member crew to space for five to seven days by 2022 when India celebrates 75 years of independence. The first unmanned mission was scheduled for December 2021 but Gaganyaan is likely to be delayed by one year due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ISRO officials.

How is Gaganyaan Significant?

If India successfully sends four astronauts to space, it will be only the fourth nation to do so after the United States, China, and Russia. It will re-establish India's space research position amongst giants such as the US, China, and Russia, which spends way more money than India on space programs.

Gaganyaan's Objective -

The Gaganyaan project has the objective of demonstrating human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with three crew members in orbit and safely recovering them after the mission.

ISRO is going to use its heavy-lift launcher, GSLV MkIII for the Gaganyaan mission.

India's and Russia's Relation -

ISRO and Russia's Glavkosmos signed an agreement for Gaganyaan to select and prepare Indian astronauts for the space mission. ISRO's stated that India would send 12 astronauts to Russia for preparation, with four being chosen. The selected astronauts will now complete a 15-month intensive training program in India abroad.

Challenges faced by the Gagannauts

1)Weighty problem of weightlessness

During launch and re-entry, astronauts are subjected to gravity loads ranging from 1g on Earth to even greater. They will experience motion sickness as they reach weightlessness, and the transition of gravity will impact their blood circulation, potentially making them unconscious unless they are properly trained.

2)Learning to float in the air

The Gagarin Centre's weightless atmosphere simulation laboratory, or hydro center, is designed for training in simulated weightlessness in water and can assist with astronaut activity in space, among other things.

3)Water tanks, simulators, centrifuge machines

Microgravity, isolation, and disorientation are also important aspects of astronaut training. Different simulators are available at India's Institute of Aerospace Medicine (IAM) and Russia's Yu A Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Centre to prepare space travelers.

4)Prepping for G-Force

To improve their G-force tolerance capabilities, astronauts are put in centrifuges and centrifuge-based simulators. IAM has developed a human centrifuge, which creates high G-forces. The Gagarin center has two such centrifuges.

5) Food on Board

Egg rolls, veg rolls, idli, moong dal halwa, and veg pulav are among the foods served on the mission. They will also be provided with food heaters. The Defence Food Research Laboratory in Mysore has prepared special desi food products for the Indian astronauts who will go into space in Mission Gaganyaan. Special containers have been created to help astronauts with drinking liquids such as water and juices in zero-gravity environments.

6)Handling the spacecraft

Above all, the chosen gagannauts must familiarise themselves with the various structures, navigation and thermal controls, orbital mechanics, and Earth observation, among other things, that make up the mission's main aspects. All the Isro and the IAF expect that the gagannauts never have to use this training and that all systems work as anticipated. However, such preparation is needed for manual action and in the event of an emergency. The astronauts would receive training in biology, physics, and medicine, among other subjects. After learning everything, the astronauts must become familiar with the devices that will be used in Gaganyaan.

The success of Gaganyaan will open more doors for further spaceflight missions to be undertaken. It will also help India achieve its goal of building its own space station.

Reference - Wikipedia

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