Mangalyaan, GSLV Mark III Success Pushes ISRO to Ponder Sending Manned Mission Into Space Next

ISRO chief K. Radhakrishnan (Nature)

ISRO former chief K. Radhakrishnan 

The itinerari of Indian space agency ISRO is clear now with the successful launch of the Mars Mission Mangalyaan in September 2013 and the experiment of its re-entry capable GSLC Mark III launch vehicle. Buoyed with the success, ISRO is pondering its next mission to send Indian astronauts into space, confirmed Dr K. Radhakrishnan, who served as the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) between 2009 and 2014.

The former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation, who retired few days ago, said in an interaction with space scientist Pramod Kale at the 102nd edition of the Indian Science Congress in Mumbai, that the space agency is working on the project to send human mission into space soon.

“We have been able to send robots to space. Technology available in India needs be a few steps ahead to be able to send human beings to space. Sending human beings to space requires ability to provide the environment and life support system for the crew, minimising the failure rate and developing an escape system, etc. ISRO is working on several such things.”

On Mars Mission success, he said: “The hurdles began with getting a particular position of the planets. That put a limit on the opportunities available for mission launch.”

Revealing the time span involved and other constraints, he said, “the mission was completed in a record time of 4 years 2 months and the spacecraft was tested in a very short span of 18 months. We expected it to have a lifespan of 6 months. It has already completed 100 days of existence in the Mars orbit and is expected to last at least 6 more months.”

Dr Radhakrishnan was conferred with Nature’s top 10 scientists rank for 2014 and the ISRO’s Mars Mission was named one of the top 10 scientific achievements of the TIME magazine.

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