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India to Set Up its Own Space Station

  • 14 Jun 2019
  • 2 min read

India is planning to launch its own space station by 2030, joining the league of US, Russia, and China to an elite space club.

  • A space station is a habitable spacecraft capable of supporting human crewmembers and designed to remain in space.
  • As of now, the International Space Station (ISS) is the only fully functioning space station and largest human-made body in low Earth orbit.

Indian Space Station

  • The Indian space station will be much smaller (mass of 20 tonnes) than the International Space Station and will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments (not for space tourism).
  • Preliminary plan for the space station is to accommodate astronauts for up to 20 days in space, and the project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
  • It will orbit Earth at an altitude of around 400km.
  • ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is working on space docking experiment (Spadex), a technology that is crucial for making the space station functional.
    • space docking is a technology that allows transferring humans from one spacecraft to another.

Significance

  • Space station is essential for collecting meaningful scientific data, especially for biological experiments.
  • Provide platforms for greater number and length of scientific studies than available on other space vehicles. ( as Gaganyaan will take humans and experiments in microgravity for few days only).
  • Each crew member stays aboard the station for weeks or months, but rarely more than a year.
  • Space stations are used to study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.
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