Human Spaceflight – the Indian way
Although not nearly as sophisticated or ambitious as the Orion capsule, India’s very own crew capsule was flight tested just days after its U.S. counterpart. As a result, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is hitting the headlines and in developing a crew module adapted to its new launch vehicle in only a year at a cost of some €20 million, it has confirmed the merit of its methods.
On 18 December, when the GSLV-III launcher, the most powerful India has ever built, loomed large out of the dawn mist on its Sriharikota launch pad, its silhouette reminiscent of Ariane 5 left no doubt that India was about to take a great step forward. Even though there were no astronauts on board and qualification for human spaceflight is still some way off, the launch vehicle stood proud in the eyes of a people who, since the sensation created by the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), never miss an episode of their nation’s space adventures. A few hours later, ISRO would at the same time bring off the maiden flight of India’s heavy-lift launcher and clear the path for crewed spaceflight.
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- Human Spaceflight - the Indian way