The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is in the final stages of preparing for its ambitious Gaganyaan mission, which aims to demonstrate India’s capability to carry out its first human spaceflight program. However, in a surprising move, ISRO is considering the use of Russian-made spacesuits for the astronauts, bypassing the initially planned usage of indigenously crafted Intra Vehicular Activity (IVA) suits.
Switching to Russian Spacesuits
The decision to potentially opt for Russian spacesuits instead of the Indian-made IVA suits comes as a result of “programmatic requirements” and ensuring the safety of the crew. Despite the development and readiness of the Indian IVA suits by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO
is inclined towards incorporating Russian spacesuits for the Gaganyaan mission. This decision was reflected in an official document accessed by the Hindustan Times, signaling a notable shift in the preparation for the mission.
ISRO Gaganyaan Mission
The Gaganyaan mission is a significant endeavor for ISRO as it seeks to launch a crew of three members into an orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and ensure their safe return. Prior to the manned mission, ISRO will conduct various tests and programs to validate the success of the mission. This includes the development and testing of critical technologies such as a human-rated launch vehicle, a Life Support System, crew management aspects, and emergency escape provisions.
Precursor Missions and Testing
Before the actual launch of the Gaganyaan spaceflight, ISRO will focus on conducting precursor missions to assess and validate the safety and reliability of all systems. These precursor missions will involve the Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT), and Test Vehicle (TV) flights. Furthermore, ISRO will also employ unmanned missions to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of the systems in preparation for manned missions.
In conclusion, the potential adoption of Russian spacesuits for the Gaganyaan mission by ISRO represents a strategic shift in the preparations for India’s maiden human spaceflight program. As the space agency gears up for key tests and demonstrations in the upcoming months, the decision to consider Russian spacesuits underscores the meticulous approach taken to ensure the safety and success of the mission. Despite the initial plans for utilizing Indian-made IVA suits, the inclusion of Russian spacesuits aligns with ISRO’s commitment to meeting programmatic requirements and prioritizing crew safety.
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