Scaling up tech capability vital in space mission: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director

Scaling up tech capability vital in space mission: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 9 (PTI) At a time when many countries aim to have habitations in Mars, further bolstering India's space mission by scaling up technological capability is vital to achieving higher goals, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Director S Unnikrishnan Nair said here on Thursday.

Now, NASA and the space missions of other top countries are keen to have more engagement with the Indian Space Research Organisation and it is part of its Artemis programme, Nair said, speaking on 'Challenges in Human Space Flight Mission.' 'Several nations are going to have permanent colonies on Mars and we should prove that we are also ready with our technologies that are on par with them,' Nair said.

He was delivering the Sir C V Raman Lecture organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) here to mark the birth anniversary of the Nobel Prize winning physicist, a statement said.

RGCB Director Prof Chandrabhas Narayana presided over the function, it said.

Noting that the launch vehicles for missions like Aditya, Chandrayaan-1,2 and 3, Gaganyaan were made at VSSC, he said the Centre is preparing the submersible spherical vessel which goes to 5,000 metre depth for the ambitious Samudrayaan project, the country's first manned deep ocean mission to study the deep ocean resources such as metals, minerals, and biodiversity.

He said the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is also working on how technologies can be delivered for space tourism since more private agencies have evinced interest in space tourism and space mining.

In the future, the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics may play pivotal roles in space missions.

Nair said the Moon is not a friendly place as it has no atmosphere, besides getting bombarded by meteoroids, resulting in forming a surface with loose soil.

Mars is a promising planet which has got a very thin atmosphere (one hundredth of Earth) and the number of day and night is 24 hours, he said, adding that it has hilly terrain and a semblance to Earth.

Elaborating on the challenges in space missions, the VSSC Director said surviving the zero gravity and radiation conditions and dealing with biological rhythm, weightlessness and psychological issues are crucial.

So far, 552 men and 72 women have gone to space, and technology along with training facilities have to be updated to identify and train more people.

Commenting on beyond 2025-35, Nair said there will be a follow-up mission on Gaganyaan, activities like how to make a space test, how to make a large-capability vehicle that can go to the Moon, how to bring back samples from the Moon and how we can have our own space station.

Like any other technology, bioastronautics has huge scope in space programmes as it can explore how life is going to evolve in space and what are the medicines that can be taken care of, the VSSC Director added. PTI LGK SS

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