'No country shared the critical tech for Gaganyaan': ISRO's S Somanath on how India is developing its own legacy

Produced by: Tarun Mishra Designed by: Mohsin Shaikh

Independent development of Life Support System

In pursuit of the Gaganyaan mission's self-reliance, ISRO has chosen to develop the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) on its own, given the absence of successful international collaborations, said Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chairman, S Somanath on Wednesday.

Global unavailability of critical technology

While speaking at the 5th edition of Manohar Parrikar Vidnyan Mahotsav 2023 in Goa, S Somanath said that despite extensive discussions, the necessary technology for ECLSS was not been shared by any country, which is a vital element for sustaining human life during the upcoming space missions.

Ensuring astronauts' habitable conditions

The ECLSS, integral for maintaining a liveable environment, will be crucial for astronauts orbiting 400 km above Earth during the scheduled Gaganyaan mission in 2025.

Confidence of ISRO

S Somanath said that ISRO recognizes its lack of prior experience in developing an environmental control life support system. Expressing confidence in India's capabilities, he said that he believes the country can successfully develop the intricate ECLSS using its internal knowledge base and industry resources.

Gaganyaan as a technological milestone

The Gaganyaan project seeks to showcase ISRO's ability to send and safely return humans from space, symbolising India's advancing expertise in space exploration.

Challenges and risks acknowledged

Emphasising the potential catastrophic consequences of component failures, S Somanath underlined the challenges faced by the Gaganyaan program, stressing the need for enhanced skills and confidence.

Intelligent systems for  risk mitigation

Recognising the core of human space flight, the ISRO chairman underscored the necessity of intelligent systems within rockets to mitigate risks, especially the risk of astronaut loss due to rocket failure.

Technological advancements underway

ISRO is actively engaged in integrating sensors, data processing, and artificial intelligence to empower rockets to make quick decisions, predicting and averting failures proactively.

Strategic move towards self-sufficiency

Opting to develop the ECLSS domestically signifies a strategic move by ISRO, demonstrating India's commitment to advancing space capabilities through indigenous innovation as it readies for the historic Gaganyaan mission.

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