Newly appointed ISRO chairman S Somanath called on Union minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday and discussed the status of 'Gaganyaan' as well as other space missions lined up for the near future.
Mr Singh, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Atomic Energy and Space, said Mr Somanath was taking over the prestigious assignment at a very eventful time and destiny had blessed him to lead ISRO through some of the most historic missions, including India's first human space mission 'Gaganyaan'.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman updated the minister about the status of the 'Gaganyaan' programme and said there had been a delay in timeline because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other constraints but now things have again fallen back on the track and all the systems needed for the first unmanned mission are getting realised.
Following the first unmanned mission, the second unmanned mission 'Vyommitra' will carry a robot. It will be followed by the human mission.
The minister was also informed that Indian astronauts have successfully undergone generic space flight training in Russia.
A dedicated ad-hoc astronaut training centre has also been established in Bengaluru for 'Gaganyaan' specific training.
The preparations for the human mission involve in-flight demonstration of crew escape system functioning in lower atmosphere (less than 10 km). The exercise recovery of the crew module after impacting in the sea is also being worked out, said the ISRO chief.
In 2022, ISRO also has the distinction of launching GSAT-21, the first fully funded satellite of New Space India Limited (NSIL). It will be owned as well as operated by NSIL. This communication satellite will meet DTH (Direct to Home) application needs.