The launch of the crewed space mission, Gaganyaan, is being planned before the next Independence day and this will be proceeded by two uncrewed missions, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply, Minister of State in the Department of Space Jitendra Singh said the launch of the first uncrewed mission was delayed due to the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
These resulted in supply disruptions in raw material and delays in realisation of hardware across various industries, he said.
“The targeted launch for the crewed space mission (Gaganyaan) was before the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence in the year 2022. This is to be preceded by two uncrewed missions,” he said in the reply.
Singh said the test vehicle flight for the validation of the crew escape system’s performance and the first uncrewed mission — Gaganyaan (G1) — are scheduled during the beginning of the second half of next year.
“This will be followed by a second uncrewed mission and the first crewed mission,” he said.
Singh said that the department of space has charted out short-term and long-term plans in the areas of space transportation systems; satellite communication and navigation; earth observation, space sciences and planetary exploration; capacity building; and space-based applications.
“During the last five years (April 2016 March 2021), a total of 27 satellite missions and 25 launch vehicle missions were successfully accomplished,” Singh said.
These include the first operational flight of India’s heavy lift launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III, which placed the country’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 into orbit; the advanced cartography satellite, Cartosat-3; completion of NavIC constellation and launch of the South Asia Satellite, the minister said.
The launch of the heaviest and most-advanced high throughput communication satellite, GSAT-11, and launch of a record 104 satellites in a single PSLV flight are also among the missions, he said.
Besides these, Singh said three technology demonstrators namely the scramjet engine, the re-usable launch vehicle and the test for crew escape system were also successfully demonstrated during this period, Singh said.
In addition, 286 commercial satellites from domestic as well as foreign customers and eight student satellites from Indian universities were also launched during the aforementioned period, he added.