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From Gaganyan simulation with ‘Vyommitra’, the half humanoid, to Chandrayan 3: ISRO gives a glimpse of future ventures

Ahead of the launch of India's maiden human spaceflight venture 'Gaganyaan' in December 2021, ISRO will undertake two unmanned missions in December 2020 and June 2021, ISRO chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday.

After making the year 2019 an eventful year in space odyssey, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today gave us a glimpse of few of the major missions that it has in store for its 2020 bucket list.

Though the ambitious Gaganyaan mission, India’s first manned space mission is amongst its most prominent missions, the new year also heralds a new chapter for India’s Moon mission, as ISRO is all set to once again attempt to achieve a soft landing on the lunar surface with its mission Chandrayaan-3.

Following the Chandrayaan-2 where a snag in the communication led to subsequent failure of soft landing attempt after a successful orbital insertion, India had announced plans for a third lunar mission.

Addressing a press conference in Bengaluru to showcase the range of missions that ISRO will be working on in the 2020 and beyond, ISRO Chairperson K Sivan officially announced on Wednesday that the launch of India’s third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 may happen next year. He said that the work on Chandrayaan-3 has started and it is going at full speed.

Talking about the ambitious Gaganyaan mission, the ISRO chief informed that 4 astronauts, who are Indian Air Force test pilots, have been short-listed and they will go to Russia for training by this month-end. Sivan proudly said: In 1984, Rakesh Sharma flew in a Russian module, but this time the Indian astronauts will fly in an Indian module from India.

Speaking at the Symposium on Human Spaceflight and Exploration here on Wednesday, the ISRO chief said that the first phase of payload selection for human spaceflight programme Gaganyaan has been completed. “The opportunity for microgravity experiments have been announced and the first phase of payload selection has been selected (for Gaganyaan),” said K Sivan.

Ahead of the launch of India’s maiden human spaceflight venture ‘Gaganyaan’ in December 2021, ISRO will undertake two unmanned missions in December 2020 and June 2021, ISRO chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday.

ISRO also shared the first glimpse of the humanoid that it hopes to send to space at the end of this year before finally sending humans in 2022.

Read: There are no failures in science, only efforts and experiments: PM Modi to ISRO scientists

Sam Dayal, an ISRO scientist revealed that half-humanoid ‘Vyommitra’ will be placed in the first unmanned mission under Gaganyaan to simulate most of the human body functions on an experimental basis. “It will try to simulate a human and report back to us. We are doing this as an experiment”, said Sam Dayal.

Isro plans to send ‘Vyommitra’ to space later this year using its most powerful rocket – Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII.

Meanwhile, ISRO’s most ambitious Gaganyaan mission aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capability to low earth orbit for a duration ranging from one orbital period to a maximum of seven days. The mission is expected to cost Rs. 10,000 crore.

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