Gaganyaan mission: ISRO to launch first uncrewed mission in December 2021
The first unmanned launch was scheduled for December 2020 and the second unmanned launch was scheduled for July 2021. Read all you need to know.
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has announced that it is ‘putting extra work, extra hours’ to achieve the launch target of the first uncrewed mission in December 2021 as a part of the human spaceflights programme ‘Gaganyaan’ due to disruption caused in the hardware delivery schedules during the first and second wave of COVID-19.
Two uncrewed flights are planned to test the end-to-end capacity for the Gaganyaan mission for which the hardware elements are fabricated by the industry however, lockdowns due to the pandemic in the country have impacted the delivery schedules.
"Design, analysis, and documentation are done by ISRO while hardware for Gaganyaan is fabricated and supplied by hundreds of industries across the country", said an ISRO official. Most of the hardware supplies were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ISRO is taking all help available from the US, Russian, and French space agencies for the supply of components and other crucial activities.
The Gaganyaan Mission
•Prime Minister Narendra on August 15, 2018, during his address on Independence Day, had made the first formal announcement of the Gaganyaan programme that would carry three people into space for seven days.
•With the success of the Gaganyaan mission, India would become the fourth country to successfully launch a crewed mission into space after the US, China, and USSR/Russia.
•The first unmanned launch was scheduled for December 2020 and the second unmanned launch was scheduled for July 2021 and the final human spaceflight was scheduled in December 2021.
•Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates were postponed. The first unmanned mission is planned in December 2021 and the second unmanned mission in 2022-23, followed by human spaceflight, said Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Space.
•Four Indian astronauts as part of the Gaganyaan programme have undergone spaceflight training in Russia.
•GSLV Mk III, ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher has also been identified for the mission.