Indian Space Station
Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite that supports crew members designed to remain in space for a long period of time and also enables other spacecraft to dock for re-stocking of supplies or refuelling etc.
Recently ISRO said that it would not be a part of the International Space Station Indian Space Station. And it is planning to build and operationalize a separate Space Station on its own without foreign collaboration.
- The project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
- it is expected to weigh 20 tonnes
- It is expected to accommodate a crew of astronauts for 15 to 20 days in space.
- Indian Space Station is placed in Low-Earth Orbit at 400km altitude.
- The space station is going to be very small which will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments (very small gravity).
At present, the International Space Station is the only fully functional Space Station in the earth’s low Orbit. The International Space Station is a partnership between European countries (European space agency), USA (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos). And China is also planning to build a space station of its own.
What is the benefit of building own space station?
Former NASA Astronaut Dr Don Thomas said that India would learn a lot more by building its own station rather using someone else’s.
- If India could build its space station in Earth’s orbit, it can do the same on Moon and Mars and so on.
- It enhances India’s space exploration capabilities.
What are the challenges in building a space station?
Finances: Building the International Space Station costs about 3 billion dollars and maintanence costs nearly 100 billion dollars. Though India plans a very smaller space station, its a big challenge for India to invest on space station.
Engineering: ISRO needs to significantly enhance the payload carrying capabilities of the launching vehicle for the mission.
ISRO has succeeded in building a mission Chandrayan at a very minimal cost. Similarly, ISRO shall have to explore cost-cutting measures, either technically or by pursuing limited goals in building a space station.