India has achieved remarkable success in unmanned space missions including Chandrayan and Mars Orbiter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space missions. What are the main obstacles to launch a manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Examine critically.

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has planned to launch an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft which is going to be the spacecraft for the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. Four Indian Air Force officers, who were earlier selected for the Gaganyaan mission have completed training recently in Russia.

Challenges

ISRO achieved a huge success in its previous missions like the Chandrayaan program, Mars Orbiter Mission, ASTROSAT. But for the manned space, it is facing some challenges.

  • Re-entry of the spacecraft back to Earth after conducting the operation.
  • Creation of a spacecraft with a suitable inner compartment for the astronauts.
  • Adequate technology to carry the heavy payloads into space.
  • Other key players denied providing the cryogenic technology at the very beginning.
  • The crew capsule is yet to be tested.
  • The impact of isolations is not going to be tackled easily.

Benefit

  • India largely depended on the single type of launch vehicle that stalled the further development process. Taking steps towards a manned space program will further improve India’s space mission.
  • The low-cost manned space program will create an instance in the entire space industry.

Way forward

The manned space program will definitely boost India’s space mission. But more private players should be allowed to take a significant part in the sector. Conducting joint operations with the state-owned agency will enable more research and development.

Question for UPSC Mains:
India has achieved remarkable success in unmanned space missions including Chandrayan and Mars Orbiter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space missions. What are the main obstacles to launch a manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Examine critically. (Answer in 150 words)

Published: October 31, 2017 | Modified:September 2, 2020

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