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ISRO to develop ECLSS for Gaganyaan mission; says ISRO Chairman

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ISRO Chairman S. Somanath said that the space agency has decided to indigenously develop the ‘Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS)’ for the upcoming human space flight mission ‘Gaganyaan’. This decision came after unsuccessful attempts to procure the ECLSS from other countries.

Somanath said this while addressing the 5th edition of Vidnyan MahoManohar Parrikar tsav 2023 at Dona Paula, Panaji an event organised by Goa’s Science, Environment and Technology Department.

The Gaganyaan is expected to be launched in 2025.

He said that, “We have no prior experience in developing an Environmental Control Life Support System (ECLSS). We were only designing rockets and satellites. We thought of procuring from other nations, but unfortunately after so much discussion, nobody is willing to give it to us. Therefore, we decided to develop it in the country itself”.

The Gaganyaan envisages a demonstration of ISRO’s human spaceflight capability by launching a human crew to an orbit of 400 km and bringing them safely back to earth by landing in sea waters.

Highlighting the challenges in the Gaganyaan programme, Somanath said that our country has been into knowledge-building design capability development over the last so many years and now in the final of this is going to be the Indian human space flight programme.

“When we send humans to space through our Gaganyaan programme, I think the amount of skill and confidence that we need to have has to be higher than what we currently have,” he said.

He added that the first part of the Gaganyaan programme is the rocket. He mentioned that in case of a failure, a decision must be made within seconds. He emphasized that in human space flight, we must not risk losing astronauts due to rocket failure.

“In instances of such potential risks, an immediate mission abort becomes imperative. Therefore, it necessitates the intelligence of rockets. ISRO is currently engaged in enhancing the intelligence of rockets for the prestigious Gaganyaan mission,” he concluded.

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