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India to send female robot into space in October, says minister

NEW DELHI, February 5, 2024

India will be sending a female robot 'Vyommitra'  this year to space in its maiden human space flight mission, Gaganyaan, reported Times Of India citing the science and technology minister.
 
"The Gaganyaan project got delayed due to the pandemic. Now we are planning the first trial mission in October first or second week. Bringing back the astronauts is as important as sending them," said Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Space, Atomic Energy, Science and Technology.
 
"In the second mission, there will be a female robot and she will mimic all human activities. If everything goes perfect, then we can have a go-ahead," he told reporters today.
 
The name Vyommitra is a fusion of two Sanskrit words - "vyoma," meaning space, and "mitra," meaning friend. 
 
Designed with advanced capabilities by Indian space giant ISRO, this robot astronaut will play a crucial role in monitoring module parameters, issuing alerts, and executing life-support operations, said the minister. 
 
Additionally, Vyommitra can perform tasks such as operating six panels and responding to queries, showcasing its versatility in a space environment, he added.
 
In other progress made for the Gaganyaan programme, the second crew module sub-assembly identified for uncrewed missions is completed and delivered by industry. 
 
The orbital module preparation facility construction is also completed. Facility has been commissioned for integration activities of the test vehicle mission and the launchpad augmentation works for Gaganyaan are underway.
 
Singh announced that the uncrewed Vyommitra Mission is slated for the third quarter of this year, marking a significant milestone in India's space endeavors. The subsequent manned Gaganyaan mission is scheduled for launch in 2025.
 
The overarching Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate India's human space capabilities by launching a crew of astronauts into a 400 km orbit and safely bringing them back to Earth, he stated. 
 
The country's strides in space exploration also include the Chandrayaan-3 Mission, which successfully landed near the Moon's south pole on August 23, 2023. 
 
Singh assured that the mission is progressing as expected, and crucial insights gathered by Chandrayaan-3 will be shared soon, further contributing to India's space achievements
 
If the manned mission is successful, India will become the fourth nation in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the capability to launch a human spaceflight mission.



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