ISRO Gears Up for Robotic Mission

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Bengaluru : Even as India’s human space flight mission has been put been put on hold, the country is working to send a robotic mission into space. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has sent a proposal to the Central government for carrying out an unmanned mission to space.

The space agency, which launched the world’s cheapest mission to Mars at `450 crore, requires `40,000 crore for the human space mission. “The larger question would be about the real need to put a man on the flight. Is it for prestige or is there a need? If the government and the political system are convinced about the need, then they will give us the money and we will do it,” said S Somanath, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram.

The project has received little funding from the Central government in the general budget over last three years. “Robotic experiments are possible and we may launch unmanned manned experiment to demonstrate our technology. We have given the proposal to the government and are awaiting approval,” he said.

Somanath said that sending humans to space may not reap any tangible benefits now.

“We have developed experimental crew modules, demonstrated a parachute based recovery system, space suits for human travel and systems for surviving in space with oxygen. But the question is whether the country is ready to spend that kind of money,” Somnath said

ISRO is also expected to test the reusable rocket launch vehicle (RLV) technology for low-cost access to space in first quarter of the year.

The New Indian Express

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