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What India intends to achieve with Space Station? Here's what govt said

By Vishal S

New Delhi, July 03: When ISRO chief announced last month that India would be launching a Space Station into the orbit by 2030, most were excited, some remained apprehensive and many asked 'why?'. It would be a massive leap for India in terms of space exploration and ISRO's main focus after Gaganyaan would likely to be on this critical project.

Representational Image

A space station is essentially an artificial satellite which revolves around the earth which provides a small habitable space for a few humans to live for a few days and carryout scientific experiments. In simple words, space stations are habitable scientific laboratory in space. Space stations are a place to do cutting edge scientific research in an environment that cannot be simulated on Earth.

On these lines, the Union Government today gave specific details of what India is aiming at by launching a Space Station. The Indian space station, when fully established, will provide a research platform unmatched on this planet, the government said on Wednesday, asserting its expected benefits are likely in the areas of human health, disaster relief and food and water conservation.

[India planning to have own space station says, ISRO chief K Sivan]

In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, MoS in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said a space station is an integral element of human spaceflight programme as it allows sustained human presence in space to carry out meaningful research. He, however, said the programme is still at a nascent stage.

"India's plan of space station is a long-term plan after successful operationalisation of Gaganyaan," he said. India aims to launch Gaganyaan, its manned mission to space, by 2022.

[What exactly is a space station? Explained]

The Indian space station design will be modular with initial modules weighing nearly 20 tonnes. It will have a provision for extended stay for three crew members. Singh said the Indian space station will provide a research platform that cannot be matched on Earth.

"The expected benefits are likely in the areas of human health, tele-medicine, vaccine development, material development, disaster relief, efficient farming techniques, food and water conservation, waste management techniques, environment research and education programmes that inspire the youth," he said.

The current space platform is the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of 400 km. It is operated by five space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), CSA (Canada), JAXA (Japan) and ESA (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). In a separate question, Singh said the sanctioned cost of Chandrayaan-2 and Aditya-L1 is Rs 603 crore and Rs 378.53 crore, respectively.

[International Space Station: 7 facts you must know]

Russia was the first to place a space station. The first space station was Salyut 1, which was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971. At present, one fully functioning space station is orbiting the earth and that is the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US.

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