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India unveils human space flight centre in Bengaluru

January 31
19:46 2019

Bengaluru, Jan 31 (IANS) The state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday said it has unveiled a Human Space Flight Centre here.

“Human Space Flight Centre is operational now… The facility is next to ISRO headquarters,” the city-based space agency tweeted.

The Centre is dedicated to developing critical technologies for human space missions.

The facility, unveiled by former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan and current Chairman K. Sivan, will be headed by S. Unnikrishnan Nair as the Director.

The ISRO aims to send humans to space by December 2021 through its Gaganyaan mission.

A full-scale Gaganyaan crew module model was also unveiled at the Centre, the agency said.

R. Hutton, who was the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Director, will be heading the Gaganyaan project.

“The Centre will be responsible for end-to-end mission planning, development of engineering systems for crew survival in space, crew selection and training and also pursue activities for sustained human space flight missions,” the space agency said in a statement.

It will take the support of existing ISRO centres to implement the first development flight of Gaganyaan, the statement added.

The Rs 10,000-crore mission will involve Indian astronauts taken into space to a height of 350-400 km above the Earth and orbit around the planet for at least a week.

The astronauts will be conducting experiments in space, details of which are yet to be announced by ISRO.

The space agency plans to hold its first unmanned mission by December 2020 and the second unmanned flight before July 2021 before it can put humans in space.

India’s attempt to reach space by 2022 is about six decades after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to take a journey into outer space and orbit the earth in 1961.

The US, Russia and China are the only three nations to have launched human space flights.

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