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ISRO Chairman Advocates Human Exploration Beyond Earth Amidst Plans for Moon Landing and Space Station

In a recent Instagram live session organized by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Chairman S Somanath emphasized the imperative of exploring other planets and establishing human habitats beyond Earth. The interactive session engaged a diverse audience, ranging from six to 74 years, as Somanath addressed questions and underscored the role of humans as explorers.

ISRO chairman S. Somanath

Responding to concerns about Earth's future habitability, Somanath stressed the need for comprehensive studies encompassing our solar system's celestial bodies, including planets, moons, and the Sun. He also emphasized the exploration of exoplanets to broaden our understanding of potential living environments.

Highlighting ISRO's ambitious ventures, Somanath reaffirmed the Gaganyaan program's goal of ensuring sustained human presence in space. The chairman unveiled ISRO's commitment to constructing a space station by 2035 and achieving a human moon landing by 2040, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strategic vision for India's space exploration.

In addressing climate change, Somanath underscored the space sector's contribution through satellite-based measurements, providing essential data to climate experts. He encouraged the younger generation to actively engage in efforts to mitigate human-induced climate change, emphasizing the fragility of Earth's energy and elemental balance.

Discussing the prospect of space tourism, Somanath expressed openness to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, envisioning a future where astronauts include specialists like astrobiologists. He emphasized the necessity for different training levels based on the specific requirements of various space missions.

Responding to queries about entering ISRO or joining the space sector, Somanath advised aspiring individuals to prioritize academic excellence and develop specialized skill sets. While acknowledging the limited manpower within ISRO, he encouraged exploring opportunities in private startups and companies, leveraging the evolving landscape of the space sector.

The insights shared by ISRO's Chairman provided a comprehensive overview of the organization's vision, emphasizing the significance of space exploration, climate monitoring, and fostering the active participation of the next generation in shaping the future of space exploration.

Gaganyaan Crew Module

India is set to embark on the first uncrewed orbital test flight for its Gaganyaan human spaceflight program in July 2024. The G1 mission will deploy the Gaganyaan Crew Module into space, conducting tests on orbital maneuvers, reentry, and recovery. Vyommitra, a humanoid robot, will be part of this mission. Subsequent uncrewed tests, G2 and G3, are scheduled for late 2024 and 2025, respectively, leading up to the full crewed H1 Gaganyaan mission. The crew module is designed for up to three astronauts, and the mission aims to make India the fourth country with independent spaceflight capabilities, following Russia, the U.S., and China.

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