Bengaluru: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today said the training of four astronauts identified for India’s manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’ will start from the third week of January in Russia.
Addressing a presser today here, ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan outlined ISRO’s achievements during the last one year and also the plans to be accomplished during the current year. 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 that 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.
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.
Pertaining to future programmes, Dr Sivan 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.
Talking about India’s first human space flight mission Gaganyaan, Dr. Sivan said “We’ve made good progress in the mission. The process of Astronaut selection for the mission is completed”. He further added that four astronauts have been selected, who will undergo extensive training.
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.