isro-tests-booster-for-gaganyaan

Context-

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully carried out the static test of HS200 solid rocket booster, of its highly awaited Gaganyaan mission.  

Main Highlights-

  • The test was held at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
  • It was designed and developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram. 
  • The HS200 booster is the ‘human­rated’ version of the S200 rocket boosters used on the GSLV Mk­III rocket.
  • The GSLV Mk­III rocket, which will be used for the Gaganyaan mission, will have two HS200 boosters that will supply the thrust for lift­off.  
  • The HS200 with a length of 20 mts and a diameter of around 3.2 mts, is currently world’s second largest operational booster using solid propellants.
  • It is filled with about 203 tonnes of solid propellant
  • The control system of the HS200 booster uses one of the world’s most powerful electro­mechanical actuators with multiple safety features, to meet the safety requirements of a human mission
  • GSLV Mk­III in total has 3 propulsion stages, with the second stage using liquid propellant while the third is a cryogenic stage.

Significance of this test-

This successful test of this solid rocket booster is a major milestone for India’s first Human Space Programme. It ensures the reliability and robustness of the engine for induction into the human-rated launch vehicle.

About Gaganyaan-

  • Gaganyaan is India’s first human space flight programme conducted by ISRO. 
  • It is expected to be launched in 2023
  • It will take 3 Indian astronauts, including a woman, onboard its system module also known as orbital module
  • Under this mission total 3 flights will be sent into orbit out of which 2 will be unmanned mission and one will be the human spacecraft mission.
  • It will have 2 payloads. One will be the crew module carrying human beings and the other will be service module carrying 2 liquid propellant engines.
  • The mission will be equipped with emergency escape and emergency abort provisions
  • GSLV-MkIII also known as LVM-3 will be used for its launch
  • It will revolve around Earth at a low-earth-orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km from the earth surface for about 5-7 days.
  • Russian government-owned Glavkosmos signed a contract with ISRO in 2019 for the training of the astraunauts.
  • ISRO will also send humanoid Vyommitra in unmanned Gaganyaan spacecraft ahead of the final human spaceflight to monitor various parameters based on actual simulation.

Significance of Gaganyaan for India:

  • It will boost Indian industries towards more active participation in space missions through localization of equipments relying on the Atmanirbhar strategy
  • This mission will create new employment opportunities and will also train human resources in advanced technologies. 
  • This will be a huge boost towards India’s technological progress as this will be the platform and test bed for future technologies.
  • It will boost cross collaboration and sharing of ideas between ISRO and other eminent acadmic institutions and industry groups
  • It will give impetus to more research and development in areas such as materials processing, astro-biology, resource mining, planetary chemistry, etc
  • It will inspire youth to take up science and technology as careers for national development.
  • It will be a huge moment of pride and prestige as India will be the 4th country to launch human space mission after USA, China and Russia. This will also establish India’s role as a key player in the space industry.

Challenges

  • A huge cost burden of about 10,000 crores, which often critics question its relevance based on our rate of poverty. I think it can be addressed with more and more private participation in the sector.
  • Technological challenges like Crew Escape Mechanism, Radiation exposure, & simulating Earth-like conditions, needs to be very minutely addressed
  • Health Issues can come up with the astronauts like Behavioral issues, depression, fatigue, sleep disorder.
  • There is a problem of space debris in lower earth orbits, which also needs to be taken care of.

Other Major Space Projects of ISRO

  • Venus mission: This will be the first mission to Venus by India.
  • L-1 Aditya solar: India’s first scientific expedition to study the Sun
  • Chandrayaan-3: It is a lander-and rover-specific mission, a follow-up of the Chandrayaan-2 mission.