Bengaluru, Nov 17 (IANS) Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has delivered the first hardware — a rocket booster for the launch vehicle of India’s maiden human space flight Gaganyaan — to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an official said on Tuesday.
“The hardware, a booster segment, will be used in the heavy rocket for launching the country’s first manned mission Gaganyaan into the earth’s lower orbit with three Indian astronauts in 2021-22,” a company official said here.
K. Sivan, Chairman of the state-run ISRO, received the hardware, which is the middle segment of the solid propellant rocket booster (S-200).
“The booster segment was produced at our Powai Aerospace manufacturing facility in Mumbai with a diameter of 3.2 metres, 8.5 metres in length and weighing 5.5 tonnes,” said the company in a statement here.
The Mumbai-based company is playing a vital role in powering the country’s human space flight programme.
L&T has been manufacturing hardware for every mission of ISRO, including lunar (Chandrayaan) and Mars (Mangalyaan).
“L&T and ISRO teams have worked on realising the flight hardware ahead of schedule while maintaining the quality standards required for the manned mission,” Sivan said on the occasion.
The space agency will use the heavy-lift geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV Mark-III) for the manned mission to carry three astronauts with payloads to conduct experiments in zero gravity onboard the orbiter.
“The S-200 forms the solid propellant booster for the launch vehicle,” said L&T Director for defence and smart technologies, J.D. Patil.
Four ace Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots are undergoing intense training at the Gagarin research and test cosmonaut training centre in Moscow for the space flight around the earth’s orbit for a week.
“Of the four pilots, three will go into the space to orbit around the earth for a week and conduct experiments in micro-gravity and bio-science,” Sivan had said earlier.
The training is being conducted under a commercial contract between Glavkosmos joint stock company of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos and the human spaceflight centre of the Indian space agency.
The Yuri A. Gagarin state scientific research-and-testing cosmonaut training centre in Moscow’s Oblast trains cosmonauts for space missions.
Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted in his Independence Day address on August 15, 2018 that three Indians, including a woman, would be sent to space, Sivan clarified that the crew would be all-men as all the four selected are males.
Former IAF test pilot Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to have gone into space as a cosmonaut aboard Soyuz-T from Russia on April 2, 1984.
In the run-up to the ambitious manned mission, the space agency will launch 2-3 unmanned missions in 2021 with humanoids to test the human rating of the propulsion modules, including the crew module and the escape system in the event of emergency in the spacecraft.