Update : Gaganyaan project
In a written reply, Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy & Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the Indian project to launch a human into space Gaganyaan has been approved by Government of India. The government expects the manned flight to take place in December 2021.
What is Gaganyaan?
- The Gaganyaan is a planned Indian orbital spacecraft that is intended to be the first vessel of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme.
- It is being designed to carry three people and will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.
- It weighs 3.7 tonnes and most of its functions are automated requiring very less actual human supervision.
- This HAL-manufactured crew module already has had its first un-manned experimental flight on 18 December 2014.
- In its maiden manned mission, it will orbit the Earth at 400 km (250 mi) altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board.
- The manned orbiter will be launched aboard a ISRO’s GSLV Mk III rocket in December 2021.
History of Human Spaceflights
The first human in space was Yuri Gagarin of the former Soviet Union. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova (Also of the Soviet Union). The first American in space was Alan Shepard (who flew till a sub-orbital height) and John Glenn (who actually reached Earth orbit). Apart from US and Russia (formerly Soviet Union), only China possess the technical know-how to launch into and then safely recover a man from space.
Indians in Space
While India is yet to develop its own technology for launching humans into space, an Indian Rakesh Sharma has flown to space aboard a Soviet Space rocket in 1984. Kalpana Chawla, also flew to space on a US space shuttle. She lost her life when the returning shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry.