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ISRO is gearing up to launch its first uncrewed mission in December as part of the exciting human spaceflight program called ‘Gaganyaan‘. However, it’s facing some hurdles due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, which have disrupted the delivery schedules for essential hardware. The mission aims to test everything from start to finish to ensure it’s ready for crewed flights, but the challenges posed by the pandemic are definitely keeping the team on their toes.

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When was it announced?

  • On August 15, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proudly announced the launch of the Gaganyaan programme during his Independence Day speech.
  • The aim was set to send humans into space before India celebrated its 75th Independence Day on August 15, 2022.


  • The goal of the Gaganyaan program is to show that we can send astronauts into low Earth orbit using an Indian launch vehicle and bring them back home safely.

Preparation and launch

  • Four Indian astronauts have completed essential space training in Russia as part of the Gaganyaan program, gearing up for their cosmic journey.
  • The GSLV Mk III, a robust heavy-lift launcher developed by ISRO, has been designated as the chosen vehicle for the mission, signaling India’s technological prowess in space exploration.

Relevance of a Crewed Space Mission for India

  • Opportunities for Indian Industries: Indian businesses stand to gain significantly from participating in demanding space missions. For instance, the Gaganyaan Mission aims to acquire about 60% of its equipment from Indian private companies, offering them ample chances for growth and innovation.
  • Job Creation: The Gaganyaan mission is anticipated to generate around 15,000 new job opportunities. Among these, 13,000 jobs will be in the private sector, providing employment prospects for many individuals. Additionally, ISRO itself will require an extra 900 personnel to support the mission.
  • Advancement in Research and Development: The mission will spark loads of research in areas like materials processing, astro-biology, mining resources, planetary chemistry, and orbital calculus. This research won’t just help space exploration but also find uses in other industries, expanding our scientific understanding.
  • Inspiration for Youth: Human spaceflight can spark kids’ imaginations and inspire them to aim high. When they see their country taking part in such big projects, they might feel driven to make important contributions to tough challenges and scientific quests.
  • National Prestige: India’s participation in the Gaganyaan mission could elevate its status on the global stage. Being the fourth country to send humans to space would not only make India prestigious but also establish it as a major player in the global space sector, earning respect and admiration worldwide.

Read Also: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

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