Gaganyaan, the Indian human space flight, and a proposed space station will pave the way for continuous Indian presence in space in the future, K. Sivan, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, said at a three-day symposium on human space flight and exploration that began here on Wednesday.
It was also an opportunity to build a framework for long-term global partnerships that would benefit society in many ways, he noted.
Gaganyaan was not just ISROs project but a true national effort that had roped in multiple laboratories, disciplines, industries and departments. New science will emerge from Gaganyaan and enhance our capabilities, he said. One ISS [the International Space Station put up by multiple countries] may not be enough. Regional ecosystems will be needed and Gaganyaan will focus on regional needs: food, water and energy security.
Gaganyaan and ISROs human space programme would complement all other programmes. From employment to security [food, energy and so on], most countries have similar goals, and these partnerships can help meet those goals. Benefits from possible spin-offs are aplenty, he said.
About the challenging 2022 target, Dr. Sivan said ISRO already has a working launcher, proven systems for re-entry and capsule recovery, crew escape system and others. The missing systems, namely human life science and support system, are being developed now.
K.Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, referred to the challenges of climate change that warranted coordinated global efforts. Space collaborations he said, had shown the world how to tackle such international issues.
In spite of numerous astronaut missions to space and back, many more studies were needed to understand life sciences, he said.
Organised by ISRO, the International Astronautical Association and the Aeronautical Society of India, the gathering of global space experts will deliberate challenges and emerging trends of human space travel.