GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Awareness in space.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently conducted a successful qualification test of its High Thrust VIKAS Engine at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Tamil Nadu’s Mahendragiri.
- The Vikas engine will power the ambitious Gaganyaan mission into space.
About the Vikas engine:
- It is a family of liquid fuelled rocket engines.
- It is used in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) series of expendable launch vehicles for space launch use.
- Formal announcement of the Gaganyaan programme was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018.
- The initial target was to launch the human spaceflight before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on August 15, 2022.
With this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after the USA, Russia and China.
The objective of the Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to low earth orbit on board an Indian launch vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.
Preparation and launch:
- Four Indian astronaut-candidates have already undergone generic space flight training in Russia as part of the Gaganyaan programme.
- ISRO’s heavy-lift launcher GSLV Mk III has been identified for the mission.
- About Gaganyaan.
- About GSLV.
Why is Gaganyaan mission significant for India? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.