Gaganyaan 2022: 11 facts about India's first manned space flight

After PM Narendra Modi set 2022 as the deadline for the launch of India's maiden human space flight programme during his Independence Day speech, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that it will send three astronauts into the space for seven days. Here are some facts about the space mission

Gaganyaan is a crewed orbital spacecraft which is expected to carry three people into the space for seven days.

Gaganyaan joins Chandrayaan-1, India's first lunar probe, and Mangalyaan, the Mars Orbiter Mission project, orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.

With this, India could potentially become the fourth country to send a man to space, after the erstwhile USSR, the US and China. Denmark also has a manned space flight scheduled for 2022.

The total programme is expected to be complete before 2022. Two unmanned Gaganyaan missions will be undertaken prior to sending humans. As per ISRO schedule, the first and second unmanned flights would be sent in orbit within 30 and 36 months beginning from August 2018.

GSLV Mk III, the three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle, will be used to launch Gaganyaan as it has the necessary payload capability. The mission is estimated at Rs 9,000 crore.

ISRO had first conceived the Human Space Flight Programme (HSP) in November 2004 and got incremental funds for supporting projects over the next few years. It was mainly stalled because the GSLV Mark III vehicle was not ready until last year.

Gaganyaan's service module is powered by two liquid propellant engines. Based on the payload capability of the GSLV-III booster, the service module would have a mass of approximately 3,000 kg.

The spacecraft is expected to be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km. Within 16 minutes of taking off, the crew will be in space, where they will remain for five-seven days. The return journey is expected to take 36 minutes.

ISRO expects the space mission to generate 15,000 jobs.

Gaganyaan (3m ? 2.70m) would be smaller in size than the current Russian Soyuz (7.2m ? 2.7 m in diameter), Chinese Shenzhou (?9.25m ? 2.8 m), NASA's planned Orion spacecraft (3.3m ? 5 m).