A day after announcing the launch date of Chandrayaan-2, the chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan said Thursday that India is planning to have a space station of its own. “We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of (the) human space mission. In this context, India is planning to have its own space station,” news agency PTI quoted Sivan as saying.
He added that the project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
On Wednesday, Sivan announced that ISRO’s second spacecraft to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, will be launched on July 15 this year. The spacecraft will attempt to make its first-ever soft landing on the moon on September 5 or September 6, 52 days after its launch.
The ISRO chief added that Chandrayaan-2 will explore the southern part of the celestial body, making India the first country to do so. He also said that this is the most complex mission ever undertaken by the organisation.
Chandrayaan-2 will comprise of three parts —an orbiter, a lander and the rover —and will carry 14 scientific payloads, including instruments which will help “understand the moon’s composition and seismic activities better,” Sivan said.
The mission will cost Rs 978 crore.
The International Space Station, which launched its first piece in 1998, is a large spacecraft which orbits around the Earth and is home to the astronauts.
The space station, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), is also a science lab which was built with the help of several countries of the world. The space station’s orbit is approximately 250 miles above Earth.
The first crew on the space station arrived on November 2, 2000.
The space station is home to minimum of six astronauts, with two bathrooms, a gymnasium, and a big bay window. It has science labs from the United States, Russia, Japan and Europe.
ISRO launched three missions since the start of 2019. On January 24, the organisation launched the military satellite Microsat-R satellite on board its Polar rocket PSLV C44, from the Sriharikota spaceport.
Microsat-R, an imaging satellite, is meant for military purposes, but the ISRO did not give any details about it.
On February 6, ISRO launched its 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 from the spaceport in French Guiana. ISRO said the GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH television services, cellular backhaul connectivity and many such applications.
In its latest launch, on April 21, the organisation launched the EMISAT satellite on onboard the PSLV-C45 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle hosts 28 international nanosatellites — 24 from the US, two from Lithuania and one each from Spain and Switzerland.