Union minister’s big update on ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission and ‘Vyommitra’ robot

Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday gave a major update on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Gagayaan mission and said its trials will begin in October. He said the second phase of the mission will have ‘Vyommitra’ (space-faring humanoid robot) in female attire being launched into space.

Female robot Vyommitra designed for India’s Gaganyaan mission.

“After these two phases, astronauts numbering between one and three will be sent as part of the manned mission of the Gaganyaan project. I think this might start by 2024,” Singh said.

According to the Union science and technology minister, Gaganyaan got delayed because of Covid-19.

Vyommitra is designed to function certain tasks to assess how humans would act when in space. Singh noted that for such a mission, a lot of advance planning is required to ensure the safe return to astronauts. Vyommitra will mimic all the activities expected to be performed by astronauts, the minister.

What is Gaganyaan mission?

The ambitious space mission aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capability. It will involve launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 km for a three-day mission and bring them back safely to earth, the ISRO’s website says. Upon their return, the crew will land on Indian sea waters.

The mission includes developing many critical technologies including human rated launch vehicles for carrying crew safely to space, a system that mimics life support systems of the Earth’s environment, emergency escape provision among others. “Safety and reliability of all systems will be proven in unmanned missions preceding the manned mission,” ISRO said.


Vyommitra, the female robot, was the centre of attraction at the inaugural session of the ‘Human Spaceflight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends’ event held in 2021. Vyomamitra, a combination of two Sanskrit words Vyoma (Space) and Mitra (Friend), has been designed for the unmanned Gaganyaan mission.

During the mission, Vyommitra will monitor through module parameters, alert you and perform life support operations, perform activities like switch panel operations, and simulate other human functions in space.

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