The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up for its monumental Gaganyaan Mission, a pivotal step in India’s first manned spaceflight. Recent reports suggest that astronauts on this mission might don Russian-made spacesuits, despite ISRO’s development of indigenous Intra Vehicular Activity (IVA) suits.

Russian Spacesuits Chosen for Safety

According to documents reviewed by the Hindustan Times, while ISRO has made strides in IVA suit development, it appears that Russian spacesuits are the preferred choice for the Gaganyaan mission. The decision, driven by programmatic requirements and a commitment to crew safety, is not a definitive confirmation, but astronauts have undergone suit trials in Russia.

Gaganyaan Mission Overview

ISRO Chairman S Somanath recently designated 2024 as the “year for Gaganyaan.” The mission aims to launch a crew of three into orbit at 400km for a three-day mission before safely returning to Earth. It is part of ISRO’s broader human spaceflight program, showcasing India’s capability for crewed space missions.

Precursor Missions and Tests

In preparation for Gaganyaan, ISRO has planned precursor missions and tests. These include the Integrated AirDrop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT), and Test Vehicle (TV) flights. Multiple rounds of testing, including a humanoid astronaut robot (Vyomitra) demonstration and an unmanned flight, are slated to precede the manned mission, potentially set for 2025.

Broader Objectives of ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Program

ISRO’s human spaceflight program encompasses key objectives, including the development of a human-rated launch vehicle, a Life Support System for astronauts, and comprehensive crew management aspects for training, recovery, and rehabilitation.

In conclusion, the Gaganyaan Mission represents a significant leap for India in the field of manned space exploration. The choice of Russian spacesuits, while not final, underscores ISRO’s commitment to ensuring the safety and success of this historic venture.

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