The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set its sights on an multiple missions, aiming to establish itself as a key player in space exploration. There is an ambitious roadmap for ISRO, including plans for Chandrayaan-4 and the Bharatiya Antariksh Station, according to ISRO chief S Somnath.
Chandrayaan-4: A Quest for Lunar Samples
The Chandrayaan-4 mission is slated to retrieve samples from the Moon. According to Indian Express, Somnath emphasised the complexity of this mission, stating that it demands advanced technology surpassing previous missions. The development of technologies like a robotic arm for sample collection, mechanisms for docking in lunar and Earth orbits, and safe re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere will be pivotal, says Somnath.
Bharatiya Antariksh Station: A Gateway to Space Research
In a bid to bolster its space presence, India is also gearing up to launch the first module of the Bharatiya Antariksh Station by 2028. This station will be like a hub for conducting experiments aided by robotic assistance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier urged ISRO to establish a space station by 2035, with plans to send an Indian astronaut to the Moon by 2040.
SPADEX Experiment: Paving the Way for Human Spaceflight
Highlighting imminent milestones, Somanath revealed the SPADEX experiment, set to demonstrate autonomous docking capability. This crucial step in human spaceflight involves the precise alignment and connection of two spacecraft in orbit, a key skill for future missions.
The Path Ahead: Technological Advancements and Collaborations
ISRO's vision extends beyond individual missions. The agency is actively developing technologies such as inflatable habitat modules for astronauts' prolonged presence in space. Additionally, plans include satellite refuelling capabilities and the ISRO Servicer Module for satellite maintenance and replacement.
Crucially, ISRO is eyeing collaborations with NASA and the European Space Agency. Talks are underway to establish a common interface between the Indian space station and those of other countries. This collaborative effort could potentially allow ISRO's module to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) and foster joint ventures in space exploration.
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