Astronauts selected for Gaganyaan mission: ISRO Chairman

Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon, comprising a lander and a rover, is approved by the Government

GN Bureau | January 2, 2020


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ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan and colleagues address the media in Bengaluru on Wednesday
ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan and colleagues address the media in Bengaluru on Wednesday

India has completed the process of selecting four astronauts for its first human space flight mission, Gaganyaan. “We’ve made good progress in the mission. The process of Astronaut selection for the mission is completed,” Dr K Sivan, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has said.

Dr Sivan briefed the media at the ISRO Headquarters in Bengaluru Wednesday, outlining the agency’s achievements during the last one year and also the plans to be accomplished during the current year. Pertaining to future programmes, he said Chandrayaan-3 mission to the moon, comprising a lander and a rover is approved by the Government and activities for its realisation are in progress.

During 2019, six launch vehicle and seven satellite missions were realised by ISRO. The year also marked the 50th launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Dr Sivan said two new variants of the PSLV were introduced. For the first time, the spent fourth stage of the PSLV was successfully demonstrated as an experimental orbital platform. Indigenously developed Vikram processor by Semi-Conductor Laboratory was flight tested during the year. International mobile standards body 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approved India’s regional navigation satellite system NavIC which would facilitate NavIC’s use in mobile phones, according to an official press release.

On the capacity building front, a second launch port, exclusively for the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), is planned to be established in Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu. “Land acquisition activities are presently in progress,” said Dr. Sivan. A second Vehicle Assembly Building in SDSC SHAR Sriharikota was dedicated to the nation during the year for increasing the launch frequency. As part of the enhanced outreach activity, a launch viewing gallery was operationalised in Sriharikota to facilitate viewing of launches live by the public.

In an effort towards horizontal expansion of ISRO, Space Technology Cells, Space Technology Incubation Centres and Regional Academic Centres for Space were established during the year and many more such centres are planned in the future. A special programme for school children called “Yuva Vigyani Karyakram (YUVIKA)” aimed at imparting basic knowledge on space technology, space science and space applications was also introduced during the last year.

To carry forward the industry production of space systems, ISRO incorporated New Space India Limited (NSIL), under the Department of Space and efforts in realising PSLVs from industry initiated.

Other projects during the year include SSLV, GSLV with 4m ogive payload fairing, GSAT-20 satellite, NavIC with indigenous atomic clocks, Indian Data Relay Satellite System, Aditya-L1 and XPOSAT.

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