Home / Science / News /  'Gaganyaan' first flight test this year: Union Minister Jitendra Singh

India is set to launch its first human space expedition ‘Gaganyaan’ with the first test flight scheduled for later this year, Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh informed on Tuesday. The human space flight ‘Gaganyaan’ is expected to be launched in the year 2024. The schedule of the mission is impacted by the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the delay may affect the launching timeline.

"The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the training of astronauts in Russia as well as India," Singh said, adding the first test flight of the Gaganyaan mission is scheduled to take place later this year.

The potential crew of the mission is selected from the Indian Airforce and has also undergone basic training for the mission in Russia. After assessing the results of two orbital test flights, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will send at least two astronauts into a lower earth orbit by 2024.

After the first test flight this year, a female spacefaring humanoid robot- Vyom Mitra will be sent to outer space next year, the minister informed.

During the mission, the spacecraft will be launched at an altitude of 15 km and scientists will simulate an abort situation in order to certainly predict the safe return of the crew capsule to Earth with the help of parachutes.

The second test flight will have the almost same objectives to double check and perfect the system. The altitude will be higher in the second test flight.

In his Independence Day speech of 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Gaganyaan Mission to send a three-member crew to space for five to seven days by 2022 when India completed 75 years of Independence. The amount allocated for the mission was 10,000 crore.

The mission got delayed due to the pandemic-induced lockdown and the new launch schedule is in 2024.

The mission will circle the lower earth orbit at an altitude of 300-400 km and will be launched by GSLV Mk III which is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle.

After the setback of moon mission Chandrayaan 2- which crash landed on the lunar surface, ISRO again plans to launch a new lunar mission Chandrayaan 3 sometime next year. Officials said that there are two windows for the launch of the lunar mission next year, in February and July.

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