ISRO’s Gaganyaan to carry lady robot ‘Vyomamitra’ to space! Read all about it here

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ISRO's Gaganyaan: Before the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sends a man into space next year in its first manned-mission Gaganyaan, it will send two unmanned missions to space in December this year and June next year, ISRO chief K Sivan said on Wednesday. The first unmanned mission will, however, have a half humanoid called 'Vyomamitra', a 'lady' robot. The robot was the highlight at the 'Human Spaceflight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends' symposium on Wednesday. The half humanoid introduced herself to the audience, leaving them surprised!

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The robot Vyomamitra can monitor through module parameters, perform life support operations and switch panel operations, a PTI report quoted the half humanoid as saying. It can also recognise astronauts, converse with them and respond to queries. Sivan said that Vyomamitra would simulate human functions in space in the unmanned flight and interact with the life support system, behaving exactly as humans would. He further said that Gaganyaan was not only to send a manned mission to space, it is also aimed to set up a space station to ensure the continuous human presence.

He said that the space organisation is looking at Gaganyaan in three ways. It has a short-term plan of sending two unmanned missions to space. This would be followed by the manned mission in December next year. The third point is the mid-term goal of strengthening the human space programme by setting up a new space station, Sivan added.

ISRO has started an astronaut training facility near its headquarters in Bengaluru for future requirements. The Indian space organisation is also in contact with other space agencies, including NASA, on collaboration regarding the human space flight and how the Indian agency can learn from their experiences. Gaganyaan is also expected to assist ISRO in its long-term aim of an interplanetary mission, Sivan said.

Further talking to PTI about Gaganyaan, Sivan said ISRO has already undertaken the development of key technologies for the mission, like having an operational launcher with a 10-tonne payload capability, space-qualified parachutes and demonstration of mission design and management. He added that the only missing key requirements, human life science and a life-support system, are now under development. Several national labs, the Indian Air Force, academicians and academic institutions, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs and industry stakeholders have been taken on board for the programme, the ISRO chief said.

Sivan further said that four Indian Air Force pilots have been selected to be sent to space and soon, they will undergo space flight training in India. Thereafter, they will also go through mission-specific training in India.