Isro identifies 48 backup points for safe return of Gaganyaan astronauts | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Isro identifies 48 backup points for safe return of Gaganyaan astronauts

By, New Delhi
Mar 05, 2024 04:52 AM IST

In an ideal situation, Gaganyaan is marked to land in Arabian Sea where Indian agencies will be stationed to rescue the crew and the module, officials said.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has identified 48 backup points across the world where the Gaganyaan crew could splash down to ensure a safe recovery and rescue of the astronauts during the return mission, senior officials said.

Out of the four astronaut designates, three will be selected to fly in the final mission. (PTI)
Out of the four astronaut designates, three will be selected to fly in the final mission. (PTI)

In an ideal situation, the Gaganyaan module is marked to land in Arabian Sea where Indian agencies will be station to rescue the crew and the module, the officials said. However, in case of a deviation in the main plan, the space agency has identified 48 back up sites in international waters, they said.

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Also Read: For Gaganyaan astronauts, Isro may opt for Russian-made spacesuits

“In any mission, there is an ideal scenario and there are back-up plans in case that is not achieved. For Gaganyaan mission, if everything goes by the book, we will be able to land the module in the Indian waters,” a senior Isro official associated with the mission said.

“But since this is a human spaceflight, we cannot take any chance to ensure the safety of the crew and therefore we have marked possible points where the capsule could land. Even a minor variation in the mission can lead to the capsule landing hundreds of kilometres away,” the official said requesting anonymity.

The Gaganyaan mission, India’s first human spaceflight project, aims to demonstrate Isro’s human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400km for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely.

The official also said that the space agency had initially finalised two landing spots in Indian waters, one in the Arabian sea and the other in the Bay of Bengal. However, considering the rough waters and the unpredictability of the Bay of Bengal, the landing site in the Arabian Sea was finalised.

“The progress for Gaganyaan mission is moving at a satisfactory pace. We are confident that we will be able to conduct at least one uncrewed mission this year before the final mission is undertaken,” the official added.

Leading up to the actual manned mission, the space agency will be conducting several rounds of tests to ensure the systems are safe to carry and bring back astronauts safely to Earth.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the four astronauts designated selected by the Indian Air Force for the mission.

Indian Airforce group captain Prashant Balakrishnan Nair, group captain Ajit Krishnan, group captain Angad Pratap and wing commander Subhanshu Shukla have been training for the Gaganyaan mission for the last five years in Russian and Indian facilities.

Also Read: Four IAF fighter pilots to be India’s first Gaganyaan astronauts — Profiles

Out of the four astronaut designates, three will be selected to fly in the final mission, which is expected to take flight by 2025.

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