Human spaceflight: Indian space agency working on critical technologies

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

Bangalore: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on various critical technologies that would assist in the country's dreams of sending humans on a spaceflight.

The space agency will test important re-entry aspects including a key to bring the craft back into the earth's atmosphere and land at a selected spot.

ISRO had announced that it will test the crew module and escape systems on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV-MK III) during 2014-15.

Defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had handed over the first “Crew Module Structural Assembly” for the “Human Spaceflight Programme” to ISRO earlier this month.

"The structure is in Thiruvananthapuram and our team has begun the process of instrumentation, likely to be completed in four to six weeks," said a senior official from the space agency.

"The instruments that need to go in are those related to crew support, navigation, guidance and control systems and so on," the official added

"We will not be testing the life support system for the crew in the launch scheduled sometime in May-June. The payload will only be for the crew module testing and the re-entry of the payload," ISRO spokesperson was quoted as saying to an English daily.

Although the space agency is yet to get complete clearance from the centre for the proposed manned mission, it has obtained permission to begin initial studies and ISRO is progressing well in pre-project activities.

Upon successful testing of the crew module, the space agency will also test the life support system, environmental control and crew escape system.

ISRO plans to build a crew vehicle that can fit two or three astronauts, carrying them to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and back safely.

The US space agency, NASA, signed a framework agreement with ISRO in February, 2008, that includes human spaceflight co-operation.

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