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Gaganyaan: Does it reflect Sarabhai’s vision?

by Mohan Sundara Rajan

Of all the projects of ISRO, Gaganyaan stands unique as it involves human activity in space, which calls for a new kind of technology, besides huge investment. It is an Rs. 10,000 Crore project. No doubt it boosts our technological image. But will it be a ‘grandiose’ scheme or a means to improve the lot of the common man?

First, let us see in brief the profile of the project. According to ISRO Chief, Dr. K. Sivan, it is designed to take three or seven astronauts who would be in a 400 km orbit for up to a week, before returning to Earth. The first flight with astronauts is expected in 2022.

Four pilots of the Indian Air Force have been selected to undergo training in Russia at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre near Moscow. The first of the two pre-Gaganyaan flights with a humanoid will be launched this year along with six microgravity experiments to test the technology.

The half humanoid called Vyom Mitra—is a ‘woman’ who....

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