India’s Space Station Project – UPSC GS3

What is a space station?
It is a spacecraft that is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and can be used for other spacecraft to dock as well as capable of supporting crew members, the most commonly known being the International Space Station (ISS).
International Space Station: It is a habitable artificial satellite in low earth orbit (LEO). It is the largest human-made body in LEO that completes multiple orbits around Earth every day thus can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998 and since then it has been inhabited continuously.
India’s Space Station Project:
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently announced that the country is planning to launch its own space station and modalities for it will be worked out after Gaganyaan Mission (India’s maiden manned mission to space).
Features:
  • The proposed space station is anticipated to weigh about 20 tonnes, it would be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth and will serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for upto 15-20 days in space.
  • India is targeting 2030 as the date to launch country’s space station which will most likely be used to conduct microgravity experiments.
  • It is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by India.
  • India’s space station project will be an extension of Gaganyaan Mission, which involves sending three Indian astronauts to space for 7 days in lower earth orbit (of 120-400 km).
  • India will not be collaborating with any other country for its space station project.
  • United States (US), Russia, China and a consortium of nations that own the International Space Station (ISS) are the only countries that have had space stations so far.
  • After its successful launch India would become 4th country to launch a space station.