Bharatiya Antariksh Station: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will set up India’s space station, which will be called the Bharatiya Antariksh Station (BAS), by 2035 in a phased manner, Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said on February 7, 2024. The BAS is currently in the conceptualisation phase, the minister said in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha. The conceptualisation phase is the one in which the overall architecture, number, and types of modules required are studied.
ISRO is currently working on the configuration of the space station. Since the space station will be set up in a phased manner, modules will be launched at different times.
After the feasibility studies for India’s space station are completed, a proposal will be submitted to the government. Once the government approves it, funds will be allocated for establishing India’s space station.
Future Moon missions
The minister also said that ISRO is designing the roadmap for India’s future Moon exploration missions. The space agency is performing feasibility studies for future robotic exploration missions to be sent to the Moon in the form of rovers, orbiters, or landers.
India also aims to send spacecraft to the Moon that can bring back lunar samples to the Earth.
Indian astronauts will be on the Moon by 2040, ISRO Chairman S Somanath has said. The Indian space agency aims to send two to three Indian astronauts to low-Earth orbit for up to three days before safely returning them to a pre-decided location in Indian waters, as part of the Gaganyaan programme, Somanath told Malayala Manorama, a Malayalam morning newspaper. The ISRO Chief mentioned these details in an exclusive article for Manorama Yearbook 2024, which is an annual knowledge encyclopaedia by Malaya Manorama.
As part of the Gaganyaan Programme, ISRO has selected four test pilots from the Indian Air Force (IAF) as astronaut-designates for the first crewed mission. Somanath said that currently, the astronaut-designates are undergoing mission-specific training at the Astronaut Training Facility (ATF) in Bengaluru.
The first crewed mission of the Gaganyaan program will launch Indian astronauts aboard an Orbital Module, atop a human-rated Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3). This means that the launch vehicle must be capable of safely carrying humans to space. The Orbital Module will be made up of a Crew Module and a Service Module, and will be equipped with life support systems.
The Crew Module will have an Earth-like environment and will allow the astronauts to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere safely. There is also a Crew Escape System which will allow the astronauts to escape the spacecraft in case of a mishap.
Before the first crewed mission, two identical uncrewed missions, an integrated air drop test, a pad abort test, and test vehicle flights will be conducted.