[Answered] What is India’s plan to have its own space station and how will it benefit our space programme?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. What is ISRO’s space station plans? It’s significance.
Conclusion. Way forward.

India plans to have its own space station in the future and conduct separate missions to study the Sun and Venus. As the nation moves to bolster its status as a leader in space technologies and inspire the young minds to take an interest in scientific fields, India’s space agency will work on its space station following its first manned mission to space, called Gaganyaan  in 2022.

ISRO’s space station plan:

  1. India want to have a separate space station of its own. For this India will launch a small module for conducting microgravity experiments. Gaganyaan aims to send a crew of two to three people to space for a period of up to seven days. The spacecraft will be placed in low Earth orbit of 300-400 km.
  2. The agency will submit to the government after the Gaganyaan mission a detailed report on how it intends to set up the space station. It currently believes it would take five to seven years to conceptualise the space station.
  3. The Indian space station will be much smaller  than the International Space Station and will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments (not for space tourism).
  4. Preliminary plan for the space station is to accommodate astronauts for up to 20 days in space, and the project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
  5. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is working on space docking experiment (Spadex), a technology that is crucial for making the space station functional. Space docking is a technology that allows transferring humans from one spacecraft to another.

Significance of the space station:

  1. Space station is essential for collecting meaningful scientific data, especially for biological experiments.
  2. Provide platforms for greater number and length of scientific studies than available on other space vehicles. ( as Gaganyaan will take humans and experiments in microgravity for few days only).
  3. Each crew member stays aboard the station for weeks or months, but rarely more than a year.
  4. It would help in different microgravity science experiments in diverse fields such as astrobiology, astronomy, materials science, space medicine and space weather.
  5. Space stations are used to study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.

India’s space agency has specialised in low-cost space launches since the early 1960s, when components of rockets were transported by bicycles and assembled by hand. In 2014, it sent a spacecraft to Mars for $74 million. In early 2017, the nation launched a flock of 104 satellites into space over the course of 18 minutes, setting a new global record. Building a space station is not easy and carry various challenges. But it would pave a way for India to become a space super-power.

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