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article imageIndia to launch its own astronauts into space by 2022

By Karen Graham     Sep 1, 2018 in Technology
Dehli - On August 15, during India's Independence Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprising announcement: The country will send humans to space by 2022.
According to Space.com, the Hindustan Times reported the timeline was a surprise to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), however, the concept of putting astronauts into space is actually something the ISRO has been working on since 2004.
And according to Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, the technologies that will help in sending an Indian astronaut to space - like human crew module and environment control and life support system - have already been developed, reports the Hindustan Times.
"Our country has made great progress in space," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a speech on Aug. 15 to mark the country's independence day. "But our scientists have a dream. By 2022, when it would be 75 years of Independence, an Indian — be it a man or a woman — will go to space with the tricolor flag in their hands."
The Gaganyaan crewed Mission
Gaganyaan, or Skycraft, is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft designed to carry three people - and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.
In its maiden crewed mission, The ISRO's largely autonomous 3.7-ton capsule will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles) for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board. The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO's GSLV Mk III in 2022.
The GSLV Mk III is a powerful launch vehicle, comparable to the Delta IV or Falcon 9 we are familiar with. The GSLV has two boosters and each is 25 meters (82 feet) in height and 2.3 meters (10 feet) in diameter. Each booster carries 207 metric tons (456,000 pounds) of propellant. The S200 booster uses an HTPB based propellant. It is the largest solid-fuel booster after the Space Shuttle SRBs and Ariane 5 SRBs.
The fully integrated GSLV-Mk III-D1 carrying GSAT-19 at the second launch pad - front view (July 201...
The fully integrated GSLV-Mk III-D1 carrying GSAT-19 at the second launch pad - front view (July 2017)
Indian Space Research Organization, Department of Space, Government of India
The GSLV's second stage is designated L110, and is a liquid-fueled stage that is 21 meters (69 feet) tall and 4 meters (13 feet) wide, and contains 110 metric tons (240,000 pounds) of unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4).
The second stage is powered by two Vikas 2 engines, each generating 766 kilonewtons (172,000 lbf) thrust, giving a total thrust of 1,532 kilonewtons (344,000 lbf). The L110 is India's first liquid-fueled engine. Each Vikas engine can be individually gimbaled to control vehicle pitch, yaw and roll control.
Earlier this year the space agency tested the escape system for its crew module. But there are still plenty of things to do before the Gaganyaan mission is ready to launch. The crew capsule was built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and handed over to ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in February 2014.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists and engineers monitor the movements of India s ...
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) scientists and engineers monitor the movements of India's Mars orbiter at their Spacecraft Control Center in the southern Indian city of Bangalore
With permission by Reuters
Since that time, ISRO has been adding the systems necessary for life support, navigation, guidance, and control systems. The ISRO conducted an uncrewed test launch of the vehicle aboard the GSLV Mk3 X1 experimental sub-orbital flight on December 18, 2014. This flight was used to test orbital injection, separation and re-entry procedures and systems of the Crew Capsule.
The government estimates the project could create 15,000 jobs, according to the Hindustan Times, and it could cost the equivalent of about $1.3 billion.
More about India, Isro, Astronauts, 20212022, Technology