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Gaganyaan launch delayed as pandemic paralyzes Isro’s work | India News


NEW DELHI: Severely hit by restrictions brought on by the Covid pandemic, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be unable to meet its launch deadline scheduled for December 2021 for the country’s first human spaceflight mission or Gaganyaan and the mission will certainly be delayed. Even the two unmanned missions scheduled before the manned mission in which Isro will send ‘humanoids’ (robots that resemble humans) into space are unlikely to be completed by the end of 2021.
Speaking to TOI, Isro President K Sivan said: “Due to the early shutdown caused by the pandemic and restrictions in different cities (where the Isro centers are located), many of our mission activities suffered. We will aim (to launch two unmanned missions for next year). But there is still a lot of work to do. We have to do an evaluation first. ”
When asked if Isro will be able to launch the final mission by August 15, 2022, the deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his I-Day address in 2018 to coincide with the 75th Independence Day of India’s chief of Isro said: “It is too early to say that. It will do its best to go fast.” Since Isro is not even sure whether to complete two unmanned missions next year, the final launch of the manned mission will not be possible by December 2021 or even early 2022.
Sivan, however, said that “the completion of the service module and the crew module is underway. The indigenous development of the environmental control and life support system is also underway. “He also said that the training of four astronauts in Russia” will be completed in March or April next year and thereafter they will receive further training in the India”.
Last month, Isro said its heavyweight GSLV MkIII launcher was identified for the Gaganyaan mission and the rocket’s human qualification process (compatible to transport humans) was in progress. To qualify the amplifier, many new design features have been introduced into the hardware.
A week ago, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had delivered the largest cryogenic propellant tank (C32 LH2) ever made by the company to Isro on November 30, much earlier than planned. The tank is an aluminum alloy development cryogenic propellant tank designed to enhance the payload capacity of the GSLV MK-III that will transport astronauts into space. HAL also supported the space agency in the development phase of the crew’s atmospheric re-entry experiment and the PAD abort test for crew escape.
Similarly, engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) last month delivered the first hardware, a booster segment, for the Gaganyaan launcher. “Despite the limitations imposed by Covid-19, the mid-segment of the world’s third-largest solid booster rocket ‘S-200’ was delivered ahead of schedule with no defects,” the company said. Sivan then congratulated L&T, saying that “both the L&T and Isro teams have worked tirelessly to make the flight hardware ahead of schedule, maintaining the highest quality standards required for a human space flight mission.”

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