(Isro), which got a shot in its arm with the approval of Rs 10,000-crore budget for the human space mission on Friday, has a long way before executing the mission, with critical human-rating of systems, including the rocket, yet to be achieved
Human-rating says It also means that it has been adequate technology
Chairman Sivan K told TOI: “There is a lot of work ahead of us. We could not have gone ahead without money being approved as the mission needs a lot of new testing and developments that cost cost. ”
At least 50% of the Rs 10,000 crore will go into human-rating, while a new launch pad that can accommodate entry of astronauts will cost a fair bit.
“We have made three sets of rockets, crew and service module. Although I do not have the exact break-up of figures at this moment, building three GSLV-MK III launches vehicles and the other modules and conducting various human-ratings tests will definitely use about 50% of the budget, “Sivan said.
Each set will be used for three missions – two unmanned missions planned for December 2020 and June-July 2021, and the actual mission by December 2021 or early 2022.
S Somnath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), had a recent presentation on elaborated on some pending work.
“We’ve got many meetings on the roadmap for human-rating the launch vehicle. Since GSLV has been active in the development since 2002-04, we had the vision that this was a day used for the human mission, “he said.
Explaining that all systems for a space launch are redundancies, he said a human-rated mission would need a much higher degree of redundancy. “The reliability targeted for human-rated launch vehicle is 0.99, which means statistically only 1 out of 100 can be unreliable. For the crew escape system, which is very crucial, we’re targeting greater than 0.998, that’s almost 100 reliability, “Somnath told TOI
The escape system will be a recent addition to the geometry, while work on parachute enlargement – as models tested so far has been scaled down version and the actual system will be bigger! “Rockets are autonomous after launch so we can not tolerate any failure,” Somnath said.
The crew escape system is very crucial, with key tests, including the pad abort test done on July 5 this year.
“Even if one system fails, we’ll bring the crew back. The most important thing is failure detection and onboard intelligence that tells the system to abort. For this, new algorithms to go in the system will soon be ready. An indigenous computer and
will be used Control systems, avionics and sensors are ready, “Somnath said.
Sivan said astronaut selection and training, which will include the establishment of new facilities, will also take a considerable amount of the budget “Some things need to be done, and this project will use up about 10% of the budget,” Sivan said.
Isro is currently creating a framework for astronaut selection. The Institute of Aerospace Medicine has some systems in place for astronaut selection and training and India is looking at a pool of 30 astronauts from which the final crew will be selected.