Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said that the first trial for Gaganyaan, India’s maiden human space mission, will be done by the end of 2023 or at the beginning of 2024.
The Minister said that the female-looking robot – Vyom Mitra will be sent after the first test flight. “The first trial for Gaganyaan will be done by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024. The first test flight will be followed by sending a female-looking humanoid robot – Vyom Mitra. We’ve to ensure that the final Gaganyaan flight should be normal and uneventful,” Singh said.
Earlier in July, the Minister had announced that the trials of the mission scheduled to take place in 2023 will be conducted by the end of this year.
“Next year one or two human beings of Indian origin will go to space. The preparations for our Gaganyaan have been done. Before that, two trials will be conducted by the end of this year. The first trial will be empty and in the second a female robot (astronaut) will be sent whose name is Vyommitra,” Singh had said.
“On the basis of these two missions, our astronauts will go in the third mission,” he added.
Notably, in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha in December 2021, the Union Minister had said with this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.
“The major missions viz., Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of second half of 2022. This will be followed by the second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human-robot developed by ISRO and finally the first crewed Gaganyaanmission in 2023,” he had added.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in 2018, wherein he said that an Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 onboard ‘Gaganyaan’, Singh had said that the program got slightly delayed due to COVID restrictions, but preparations are now in full swing to achieve the mission by 2023.
He said that the objective of the Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to low earth orbit (LEO) onboard on Indian Launch Vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.