Training for Gaganyaan astronauts to begin in 3 weeks, says ISRO chief K Sivan
The ISRO chairperson said that India’s human spaceflight programme is progressing well.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 02:50 IST
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan formally announced Chandrayaan-3, India’s third mission to moon this year. The lander-rover mission will attempt another soft landing this year.
“The government has approved Chandrayan-3, the project is ongoing. The land acquisition for a second spaceport has been initiated and the port will be in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu,” Sivan said at a press conference in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
“This will be the year of Chandrayaan-3,” he added.
Watch l Chandrayaan-3 & Gaganyaan: All there’s to know about ISRO’S plans for 2020
After a 48-day journey in the space, the lander and rover aboard Chandrayaan-2 separated for a powered descent. The mission went awry when the velocity reduced more than the designed parametres during the second of the four phases leading to a hard landing just 500 metres away from the chosen site.
The ISRO chairperson also said that India’s human spaceflight programme is progressing well. “The selection process is complete. Four astronauts have been identified for the training, which will begin from the third week of January,” said Sivan. The first test flight under the programme is likely to be carried out in December this year, followed by another test flight in July next year, and the final flight with astronauts aboard in December 2021.
In 2019, ISRO carried out 13 missions - six launch vehicle missions including one development and one operational flight of the GSLV Mk-III that carried Chandrayaan-2 and seven satellite missions. “Last year, PSLV also completed its 50th launch and two new variants of the launch vehicle were used. Now, we are moving towards the industry manufacturing the launch vehicles and the newly created New Space India Limited is working on it,” said Sivan.
Another major achievement for the Indian space programme in 2019 was the approval of the NaVIC system by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which is a standards organization that develops protocols for mobile phones. NaVIC is the regional satellite based navigation system developed by India. “Soon, our mobile phones will have NaVIC along with GPS,” said Sivan.
As for 2020, along with the big-ticket moon mission announced today, ISRO has also planned a maiden flight of the small satellite launch vehicle. The small satellite launch vehicle will have the payload capacity of 500 kg to low earth orbit designed to carry small and nano satellites. This launch vehicle will be economical costing about Rs 30 crore and can be assembled by a team of six instead of 600 it takes to assemble the PSLV.