Friday, August 05, 2011

ISRO mulls delaying moon mission, may opt for foreign tie-up

Moon Mission
The Indian space programme appears to have shifted to the 'go slow' mode as far as its plan to send a manned mission to space is concerned. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had earlier fixed an unofficial target of 2016 for the first human space flight from the Indian soil.

Now, ISRO chairman Dr K. Radhakrishnan says the agency is open to different options, including foreign tie-ups, for India's manned mission.

One of the key requirements for such a mission is a launch vehicle with high reliability - one with a risk factor as less as one in 100. The crew escape factor should be even better and the tolerable risk factor must be one in 1000. An upgraded version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle - GSLV Mark II - could take a two-member crew to space.

But the two failures of GSLV last year have come as a blow to the Indian space agency. "GSLV will now have to first go on unmanned missions," Radhakrishnan said. Other technologies, too, need to be perfected.

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