Gaganyaan: ISRO plans 10 experiments in space ahead of mission
While ISRO was already working towards the realization of the ambitious Gaganyaan mission to send Indian astronauts to space, the space agency has now drawn up a list of experiments to be conducted ahead of the mission. ISRO is looking at a pool of 10 experiments to be conducted in low earth orbit, where it plans to send astronauts. Here's more.
The Gaganyaan mission to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022 was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech this year. At an estimated cost of Rs. 10,000cr it is ISRO's biggest mission till date.
Speaking to TOI, an ISRO official said that while a pool of 10 experiments had been shortlisted, the space agency could well go beyond these 10. The experiments are to be conducted in space, in low earth orbit, 400km above the surface of the Earth. The proposed experiments could be a continuation of existing research work, or completely novel ones, and would involve premier institutes across India.
"While we have indicated 10 areas that we are interested in, we will not restrict experiments to just these areas. Also, we will obtain specific experiments in these areas from various institutions across India," said the ISRO official.
ISRO has already officially announced opportunities for low earth orbit-based microgravity experiments. Areas in which these experiments will be carried out include astrobiology/chemistry, space medicine, space hazards prediction and modelling, sensor development, microbiology experiments, life sciences in a space environment, life support and bio-waste management in space, fundamental physics, fluid and materials, and space to ground communication technologies.
For some of the experiments, ISRO will use an enclosure in space, that will have temperatures and pressure conditions that exist on Earth. For the remaining experiments, like equipment testing, payloads will be outside the aforementioned enclosure, and will be exposed to the thermal conditions, vacuum, and radiation of space. Equipment and instruments have to be designed to survive this harsh environment.