First Tests for Indian Space Station Expected Next Year: ISRO Chief

In a significant leap towards expanding its space exploration endeavors, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to conduct the initial tests for the Bharatiya Antariksh Station, India’s indigenous space station. S Somanath, the Chairman of ISRO, revealed during a press briefing at the India International Science Festival in Faridabad that the first round of tests for the space station is expected to take place next year.

Last year, ISRO affirmed its commitment to establishing a preliminary version of the Indian Space Station by 2028, preceding the final setup scheduled for 2035. The Bharatiya Antariksh Station is poised to become a focal point for micro-gravity studies, collaborative international research, and advancements in space biology and medicine.

The envisioned space station will consist of essential modules, including a crew command module, habitat module, propulsion module, and docking ports. The initial capsule is estimated to have a mass of approximately 25 tonnes, with provisions for future expansions as the station evolves.

During a review meeting with the Department of Space in October of the preceding year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined ambitious goals for India’s space missions. He announced ISRO’s plans to establish an Indian Space Station by 2035 and, notably, to send the first Indian astronaut to the Moon by 2040.

The Department of Space, overseeing ISRO’s operations, was tasked with developing a comprehensive roadmap for India’s lunar exploration missions. This initiative encompasses subsequent Chandrayaan missions, the creation of a Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV) capable of return missions, construction of a new launch pad, and the establishment of human-centric laboratories with associated technologies.

It’s worth noting that the International Space Station, a collaborative effort involving multiple nations, has been orbiting Earth since the 1990s. However, India’s foray into establishing its space station signifies a stride towards self-reliance and autonomy in space exploration.

As ISRO gears up for the inaugural tests of the Bharatiya Antariksh Station, the global space community watches with anticipation, recognizing the potential contributions of India’s space endeavors to the broader scientific landscape. The country’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration aligns with its vision for scientific leadership and technological innovation on the world stage.

(With inputs  from agencies)

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