Gaganyaan Programme: Cabinet approves Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative; first manned flight to take place in 40 months

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on August 28, 2018 unveiled the details of the Gaganyaan Programme. The Gaganyaan Programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech.

Created On: Dec 28, 2018 17:30 ISTModified On: Dec 28, 2018 17:42 IST
Gaganyaan Programme: Cabinet approves Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 28, 2018 approved the Gaganyaan Programme, first Indian Human Spaceflight Initiative of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The GSLV Mk-lll rocket will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a 3-member crew for the duration of the mission.

The approval came following the demonstration of Indian Human Spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a mission duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days.

Gaganyaan Programme: All you need to know

The Gaganyaan Programme is a national effort and will involve the participation of the Industry, Academia and National Agencies spread across the length and breadth of the country.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will collaborate extensively with National agencies, laboratories, academia and industry to accomplish the Gaganyaan Programme objectives.


The Gaganyaan Programme will require a total expenditure of around Rs 10,000 crore. This expense includes cost of technology development, flight hardware realisation and essential infrastructure elements.


Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Programme.


The first human space flight demonstration is expected to be completed within 40 months from the date of sanction. Prior to this, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.


ISRO will be responsible for realising the flight hardware of the mission with the help of the Industry. National agencies, laboratories and Academia will participate in crew training, human life science technology development initiatives as well as design reviews.


  • It will establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organizations.
  • It will allow collaboration of diverse technological and industrial capabilities.
  • It will enable broader participation in research opportunities and technology development benefitting large number of students and researchers.
  • It is expected to generate employment and train human resources in advanced technologies.
  • It will inspire large number of young students to take up science and technology careers for national development.


  • The programme is expected to spur research and development within the country in science and technology domains.
  • It has huge potential for technology development in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
  • The manned mission will provide a unique micro-gravity platform in space for conducting experiments and test bed for future technologies.
  • Human Spaceflight capability will enable India to participate as collaborating partner in future global space exploration initiatives with long term national benefits.

Launch vehicle ‘GSLV Mk-lll’ successfully tested

The ISRO has already completed the development of launch vehicle GSLV Mk-lll with necessary payload capability to launch a 3-member crew module in low earth orbit.

The organisation has also tested the crew escape system which is an essential technology for human space flight.

The aerodynamic characterisation of crew module has been completed as part of GSLV Mk-lll X mission flight.

Space suit and crew model for Gaganyaan Mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation  on September 6, 2017 unveiled the space suit and crew model for Gaganyaan Mission at the 6th Bengaluru Space Expo.


The orange-coloured prototype space suit was developed by the ISRO over the past two years at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The suit can hold one oxygen cylinder, allowing an astronaut to breathe in space for 60 minutes.

The elements of the Space suit have been realised and tested.

Apart from this, ISRO has flight demonstrated the orbital & re-entry mission and recovery operations in Space Capsule Re-entry experiment (SRE) mission. ISRO also demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking human spaceflight mission.

Key Takeaways

• The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on August 28, 2018 unveiled the details of the Gaganyaan mission.

• The Gaganyaan mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 72nd Independence Day speech.

• India’s first manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’ will be launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by 2022.

• The mission will send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days.

• Prior to the actual launch of this manned mission by 2022, the ISRO will launch two unmanned Gaganyaan missions.

• It weighs approximately 7 tonnes, and will be carried by a rocket.

• The crew module’s size will be 3.7 meters and 7 meters.

• GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle will be used to launch Gaganyaan.

• The spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km.

• The spacecraft will comprise of a crew module and service module that constitute an orbital module.

• After the take off, the manned flight will reach the orbit in 16 minutes.

• The crew will do microgravity experiment during the mission.

• The crew will be selected by Indian Air Force (IAF) and ISRO jointly after which they will undergo training for two-three years.

• The crew, while coming back to the Earth, could land in the Arabian Sea off the Gujarat coast or in the Bay of Bengal or even on land.

• The successful implementation of the programme will make India the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission. So far, only the USA, Russia and China have launched human spaceflight missions.

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