ISRO unveils manned mission design
doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.2 Published online 3 January 2009
The Indian Space Research Organisation today revealed impressive first designs of its proposed manned space mission scheduled for 2015.
Delivering a public lecture at the 96th Indian Science Congress, ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair gave fresh details of the ambitious programme as he showed off blueprints of the two-crew spacecraft that will take Indian astronauts on a week-long space trip on an indigenous vehicle.
Though he showed design modules for a three-crew spacecraft also, when asked he said, "Initially it will be a two-crew operation."
The Indian government has allocated Rs 50 crores (500 millions) for the manned space mission that would cost an estimated Rs. 10,000 crore over an eight-year period. The new infrastructure being planned for the mission include a new launch pad in Sriharikota, crew selection and training facilities and ground stations, he said.
The manned mission will try to develop the fully autonomous three-ton orbit vehicle spaceship to carry a two member crew to orbit and safely return to the Earth. The extendable verisons of spaceship will allow a seven day flight, rendezvous and docking capability with space stations or orbital platform.
ISRO plans to use the GSLV-Mk II launcher for the mission. Mark two is Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-II launcher with an indigenous cryogenic engine).