The Gaganyaan Mission, India’s foray into independent human space exploration, is moving ahead with plans to send an uncrewed mission into orbit. Scheduled for December, a final call on the launch will be taken post-assessment of the situation once lockdown is lifted in Bengaluru. The mission is part of the three-stage Gaganyaan project.
While the first unmanned flight is likely to be launched this year, the second demonstration launch could happen in 2022-23 before the astronauts finally take to the skies in a full-scale, crewed mission.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic impacting the pace of the mission, the Defence Research and Development (DRDO) organisation and the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) are now conducting impact studies on the crew module.
Being developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Gaganyaan crew module will be the first indigenous spacecraft to take Indian astronauts into space and return them safely to Earth.