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Update on ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission and ‘Vyommitra’ robot

Union Minister Jitendra Singh provided a significant update on the progress of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Gaganyaan mission, stating that trials for the mission will commence in October.

Phase Two: Vyommitra’s Inclusion

  • The second phase of the Gaganyaan mission will witness the launch of ‘Vyommitra,‘ a humanoid robot resembling a space-faring entity in female attire.
  • This humanoid robot is designed to simulate various tasks that humans would perform in a space environment.

Astronauts’ Participation and Timeline

After the initial phases, the manned mission of the Gaganyaan project will follow, involving the deployment of one to three astronauts. Union Minister Jitendra Singh anticipates that this phase might initiate by the year 2024.

Covid-19 Impact

The Union Science and Technology Minister attributed the delay of the Gaganyaan mission to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which caused disruptions in planned schedules and activities.

Exploring Vyommitra’s Role

  • Vyommitra is crafted to execute specific functions that allow researchers to assess human behavior in space conditions.
  • Advanced planning is crucial for ensuring the safety of astronauts during such missions. Vyommitra’s activities will mimic those anticipated from astronauts during space missions.

Understanding the Gaganyaan Mission

  • The Gaganyaan mission is a comprehensive space venture aimed at showcasing India’s ability to conduct human spaceflight.
  • The objective involves sending a crew of three individuals to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission, followed by a safe return to Earth.
  • The mission necessitates the development of critical technologies, including crew-rated launch vehicles, life support systems, and emergency escape provisions.
  • The safety and reliability of all systems will be tested through unmanned missions preceding the manned mission.

Vyommitra: The Integral Component

  • Vyommitra, the female humanoid robot, garnered attention during the inaugural session of the ‘Human Spaceflight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends’ event in 2021.
  • Named as a fusion of the Sanskrit words “Vyoma” (Space) and “Mitra” (Friend), Vyommitra has been designed for participation in the unmanned Gaganyaan mission.

Vyommitra’s Contributions

During the mission, Vyommitra’s role will encompass monitoring module parameters, issuing alerts, performing life support operations, managing switch panel functions, and emulating other essential human actions within the space environment.

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