Author Topic: Indian Human Spaceflight Program  (Read 111901 times)

Offline sanman

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #300 on: 03/03/2017 12:52 AM »
All the new flurry of activity around crewed missions in the US may be attracting attention in India as well.
The LVM3, which Dr Kasturirangan played a key role in pushing for, will soon be coming online and its specs obviously offer more potential for HSF purposes. Given that Indian govt approval for HSF is contingent on budgetary considerations, perhaps elder guides like Dr Kasturirangan are now advocating foreign partnerships as a way to overcome budgetary hurdles. More active pursuit of HSF missions would offer more scope for making use of LVM3 (dare we even think of an LVM4 with the extra pair of boosters?)


I'm not sure whom India could go for partnership with, if the main goal is cost-sharing. Perhaps Japan, or even SouthKorea? They'd certainly bring great technology to the table, too. I really have to admire the incredibly lightweight construction of Japanese launch vehicles, even if they are very expensive. India could certainly learn from the Japanese on how to make the most of composites for mass savings. But the Japanese would never discard H2A, especially after all they've invested in it.


What India needs is someone with money, but who doesn't have a launch platform of their own they're already invested in. I think private space tourism best fits that description. The question is where to get the money to kickstart the upfront development required for HSF and space tourism?


I dunno - maybe Antrix or some similar construct should consider a bond offering to raise money for this. As a public sector unit (PSU), Antrix is currently wholly owned by the govt of India and is administered by the Dept of Space. Given the unique risks of HSF, maybe it calls for the creation of a separate entity parallel to Antrix, in order to isolate/compartmentalize any potential liability risks related to HSF. That new entity could then raise external capital through bond offerings, which would be used to fund the development of HSF, with an eye to providing returns via Space Tourism revenues.


India already has the skilled manpower and technical base, the infrastructure base, and certain cost advantages.
There is a decades-old heritage of pursuit of space technology.
There is a proven track record of monetizing space capabilities and obtaining Return on Investment.
What India really needs is the upfront capital to jumpstart HSF and accelerate development in this direction, so that it won't be completely left behind in the space race.



Offline baldusi

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #301 on: 03/03/2017 11:42 AM »
The next generation LV will take the boosters and upper stage of the LVM3 and replace the core with an SCE-200 powered kerolox stage. That should give them plenty of performance for a crewed capsule.
What I would guess that they meant for cooperation is more like ISS and Chinese space station docking rights, telemetry and control, ECLSS, etc.

Offline sanman

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #302 on: 03/03/2017 04:51 PM »
What about Russia? India's space program owes a lot to Russian technology, and both countries have collaborated on various space-related projects before. Mir is no longer operational, but in the past the Russians have put forth ideas for a successor to Mir which has never materialized. The only potential complication I could see from such collaboration is in potentially running afoul of US sanctions laws - but who's to say those issues might not one day similarly apply to any collaboration with China/Tiangong?

Going back to Japan again - perhaps it's wrongheaded to think of one launch platform winning out over another, since half the launches could be done by JAXA and the other half by ISRO.

While not having a particularly large purse, another country with a good scientific/technical base is Israel. There could be a lot of natural complementarity between the 2 countries for space undertakings. Israel doesn't have a medium/heavy lift launch vehicle, while India does. Israel has a lot of expertise across the technology spectrum which could easily augment Indian technology.

I just don't see a whole lot to do for HSF in LEO which others haven't already done before - should India really be recapitulating the same space station-related HSF research of the past? How much osteoporosis or muscle atrophy do you need to measure? Why can't this just be done aboard a large crewed vehicle instead of having to dock with somebody's space station? What's needed is a poor man's space station like SpaceX's DragonLab, but maybe a little bigger.

Ultimately, it would be better to minimize the learning time in LEO, in order to move towards the Moon.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2017 05:34 PM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #303 on: 03/04/2017 06:07 AM »
Another idea occurred to me - India has in the past leased nuclear submarines from Moscow for the purpose of gaining close experience in nuclear submarine operations.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/10/a-second-russian-nuclear-attack-submarine-for-india/

Perhaps something similar could be done by India in regards to a Russian-made space station. India could lease the space station for some limited period and send up its own flights to dock with it, and then perhaps eventually transfer it back to Russian hands. This might allow India to gain vital experience as well as carry out medical & other data-gathering vital for HSF and longterm space operations, while limiting the cost burden and the commitment. Such an arrangement might also allow India to maintain a better timetable in its HSF progress, without lagging as far behind as it otherwise might.

« Last Edit: 03/04/2017 06:08 AM by sanman »

Offline sanman

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #304 on: 04/18/2017 11:12 PM »
10 years after key scientists gave their blessings for it, the human spaceflight program still hasn't yet gotten approval from the cabinet:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/a-decade-on-human-space-flight-not-in-priority-list-of-india/articleshow/58241073.cms

(prods govt)

Offline sanman

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Re: Indian Human Spaceflight Program
« Reply #305 on: 05/02/2017 02:20 AM »
India's Dept of Space has given funding approval for ISRO to carry out a satellite rendezvous-&-docking mission, even possibly carrying out material transfer between the 2 craft, to demonstrate a potential refueling capability:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/now-india-eyes-technology-to-put-people-in-space/articleshow/58467493.cms


Quote
BENGALURU: Isro's plan to develop technology that will allow two space vehicles to attach in orbit and also transfer material between them described in technical terms as spacecraft docking and berthing has been cleared by the department of space with a grant of Rs 10 crore. The technology will eventually allow Isro to transfer humans in space, but the immediate goal is to enable the refuelling of spacecraft to give them a longer life and transfer other crucial systems to spacecraft in orbit.

Senior scientist T K Anuradha had confirmed to TOI that experiments to this end were under way at the Isro Space Application Centre (Isac), Bengaluru, in 2016. Isro has already completed some ground simulations. A senior scientist said, "The plan is to launch two small spacecraft to test the technology in space. India operates a huge constellation of satellites and this technology will allow Isro to enhance their lives by refuelling them. It'll also reduce space debris."

The scientist added, "In most cases, the payloads on our satellites are still functioning when the satellite is decommissioned because it has expended its fuel. In future, we could enhance the life of satellites multiple times."

India is yet to become a member of the International Space Station, and human space programme is not in its immediate plans, but the eventual aim of the docking system is to send and bring back people from space. Former Isro chairman U R Rao, the chairman of Isro advisory committee, said, "It (the technology) could be used to transport people to space stations bring back old people and put in newer ones or even send people in to replace equipment on spacecraft and so on."

Isro has to overcome many challenges before it can attempt the transfer of people in space. For one, Isro must be equipped with capabilities that allow two spacecraft to find each other and remain in the same orbit. Rao said docking has to be automatic and many functions have to be executed by robots. There's also the challenge of managing the speeds of spacecraft when they near each other and to then dock safely.

Isro, according to documents in TOI's possession, is also building a special bus and payload module that will allow replacement of equipment on satellites in space.



« Last Edit: 05/02/2017 02:24 AM by sanman »

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