The Indian Space Station, which the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to establish between 2024 and 2026, is likely to have space to accommodate three astronauts. The space station programme is an extension of Gaganyaan—ISRO’s human spaceflight mission.
According to a report in The Times of India, though the plan is in its nascent stage, initial designs of the space station suggest a 20-tonne modular abode, placed in the low-Earth orbit (LEO), approximately 120 to 140 kilometres away from the Earth’s surface.
The Indian Space Station, however, is largely dependent on the successful execution of Gaganyaan.
In the 2022 human spaceflight mission, ISRO plans to send three Indian astronauts to space, and then bring them back via the same crew module. Primarily a technology demonstrator mission, it will see the astronaut trio head into the Earth’s orbit to carry out scientific experiments for seven days. The GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle will be used to place the 7,800 kg Gaganyaan craft into the low-Earth orbit.
After the mission’s completion, the space agency will make use of Gaganyaan’s technology, including the orbital module, life-support system and human-rated launch vehicles, in the subsequent space station programme.
For the past three years, ISRO has also been working on a new space docking technology that will allow the transfer of humans from one spacecraft to another, and the refueling of spacecrafts in space. The department of science has earmarked ₹10 crore for the project, and a docking experiment is likely to be conducted next year.
Back in June 2019, during the announcement of