Author Topic: How Could India Participate in ISS?  (Read 1037 times)

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4562
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 8
How Could India Participate in ISS?
« on: 01/06/2019 04:29 am »
This is just a hypothetical discussion thread - how could India participate in ISS, if all parties were agreeable to it?

I'd read that the recent attempt in the US Congress to extend ISS funding from 2024 to 2030 didn't quite make it, but that doesn't mean it won't get approved on some later bill. So on the assumption that ISS funding is approved to 2030 or beyond, could there be some opportunity/scope for India to get involved in the International Space Station?

In what ways could India participate - in what capacity and what kind of missions?
Could it be crewed missions?
Could there also be resupply missions?

Would it even be possible for India to contribute a module to ISS? (After all, even Bigelow's done it)
If India can make a crew capsule, then how much more complicated would it be to make a larger module? Perhaps if it were based on a similar approach as TransHab, it could be launched on an uprated GSLV-Mk3 and still have some decent size/volume.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 04:59 am by sanman »

Offline RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2651
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 1442
  • Likes Given: 1075
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #1 on: 01/06/2019 05:01 am »
Since a crew capsule is a priority, India should be able to take crew to ISS relatively soon. Same capsule could be converted for cargo. Like Dragon and Dragon 2.

Building a bigger cargo vehicle requires a large pressure vessel. Something like Cygnus. Then use it for a module.

If India can't get the vehicles ready before ISS is decommissioned, then they can fly to the Chinese station or whatever commercial station replaces ISS.

Go ISRO!

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Liked: 391
  • Likes Given: 303
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #2 on: 01/06/2019 05:52 am »
I would imagine that the first opportunity could be to send someone from India up on a commercial crew flight for a stay and bring some experiments to try.  Dragon and CST-100 can bring more people than Soyuz so there may be some extra seats.  How the training and financial arrangements could be worked out is anyone's guess until some one from the US or India proposes it.  It would probably take a while to certify any capsule from India as safe to dock so I don't think that would be quick.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4562
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #3 on: 01/06/2019 06:25 am »
Since a crew capsule is a priority, India should be able to take crew to ISS relatively soon. Same capsule could be converted for cargo. Like Dragon and Dragon 2.

Building a bigger cargo vehicle requires a large pressure vessel. Something like Cygnus. Then use it for a module.

If India can't get the vehicles ready before ISS is decommissioned, then they can fly to the Chinese station or whatever commercial station replaces ISS.

Go ISRO!



So GSLV-Mk3 is supposed to have a payload-to-LEO capacity of up to ~8000kg. Meanwhile Cygnus has a mass of ~3400-3750kg, able to carry additional payload capacity of ~2000-3500kg, for total payload of  ~5400-7250kg.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_(spacecraft)

Since HAL builds the Crew capsules, then presumably they could be the one to manufacture a pressure-vessel cargo module. Capsules and cargo modules would have to be fitted with International Docking Adapter:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Docking_Adapter

Perhaps ISRO would also first have to carry out the SPADEX experiment for Rendezvous-and-Docking, unless somehow all the other countries were amenable to allowing ISRO to test-demonstrate its capsule's ability to safely approach the station and get berthed through the Canadarm, as was done with Dragon.


I would imagine that the first opportunity could be to send someone from India up on a commercial crew flight for a stay and bring some experiments to try.  Dragon and CST-100 can bring more people than Soyuz so there may be some extra seats.  How the training and financial arrangements could be worked out is anyone's guess until some one from the US or India proposes it.  It would probably take a while to certify any capsule from India as safe to dock so I don't think that would be quick.


Okay, so the Dragon-proving route would be out of the question? How many flights did they take? I thought they did it in one flight, after first doing various proving maneuvers.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 06:36 am by sanman »

Offline A.K.

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #4 on: 01/06/2019 06:35 am »
Space Demonstrations are expected to start from this year.
  If appropriate funding is at place, I was wondering if India could go for its own space station in 2030s.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4562
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #5 on: 01/06/2019 07:01 am »
Space Demonstrations are expected to start from this year.

I'm not sure what you mean - which demonstrations are you referring to? According to ISRO chief's latest comments which I just posted in the other thread, the first (unmanned) capsule flights will start at the end of next year (2020):

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/360-degree/060119/its-mission-2021-says-isro-chief.html


Quote
  If appropriate funding is at place, I was wondering if India could go for its own space station in 2030s.

Well, let's weigh the pro's and cons.

Undertaking something so challenging and new may prove to be more difficult than anticipated, and could take away ISRO's attentions from making progress in other areas where it may fall further behind. If India can get enough basic experience in LEO via ISS during the 2020s, maybe it could move on to focusing on higher things in the 2030s instead of building yet another space station in LEO. The Moon is the best destination to prioritize in the 2030s, and a more meaningful way to build on past accomplishments.
(We don't want to spend 40 years in LEO before moving on - that would be ridiculous. *cough*cough*)

What would be the advantages of going it alone? India's overall lower operating cost? More autonomy/latitude on deciding which missions/activities can be carried out in space and with whom?

Politically, going it alone means getting compared against both Tiangong-3 and ISS, and thus falling short. Meanwhile going with ISS means being within the ISS fold, which makes a better comparison against Tiangong-3.
(Yeah, I know - "we're not in a competition" blahblah - but politics and optics matter.)

Does it have to be just one way or the other? Can India do some of both?
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 08:46 am by sanman »

Offline A.K.

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #6 on: 01/06/2019 10:44 am »
I'm not sure what you mean - which demonstrations are you referring to? According to ISRO chief's latest comments which I just posted in the other thread, the first (unmanned) capsule flights will start at the end of next year (2020):
Space docking*, my bad.
Quote
Politically, going it alone means getting compared against both Tiangong-3 and ISS, and thus falling short. Meanwhile going with ISS means being within the ISS fold, which makes a better comparison against Tiangong-3.
(Yeah, I know - "we're not in a competition" blahblah - but politics and optics matter.)

Does it have to be just one way or the other? Can India do some of both?
Things I was taking into considering autonomy & cost factor.

Moreover, ISS isn't going to float forever.
If it falls before India decides to head to it, an isolated national project is likely to start.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4562
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #7 on: 01/06/2019 01:47 pm »
Space docking*, my bad.

Ah, really? This year? Are you referring to the planned Space Docking Experiment (SPADEX)? Any source?
I thought that wasn't even being shown on the launch schedule anymore - I'd wondered where it'd gone.


Quote
Things I was taking into considering autonomy & cost factor.

Moreover, ISS isn't going to float forever.
If it falls before India decides to head to it, an isolated national project is likely to start.

Fine, as a fallback - but if ISS is still around, it would be a shame to discard the opportunity, especially when it was built as a symbol of international collaboration in space.

It would also save India on wasting a lot of effort when collaboration can produce better results faster.

It seems likely that the US will approve ISS funding until 2030 eventually, even if things didn't quite fall into place for it this time. The moment that approval happens, then it allows the opportunity to discuss and consider the possibilities in this direction.

A timeframe up to 2030 can be enough for India to gain the basic experience it needs, so that after this it can firmly proceed to the next level of travel farther beyond Earth orbit, which would most likely be toward the Moon.

Pending that, then Indian activities in LEO, whether on ISS or otherwise, should primarily be to gain the expertise necessary to go to that next level of lunar travel. International collaboration through ISS in LEO could help lay the groundwork for future collaboration on the Moon and beyond.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 01:55 pm by sanman »

Offline A.K.

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #8 on: 01/06/2019 05:12 pm »
Ah, really? This year? Are you referring to the planned Space Docking Experiment (SPADEX)? Any source?
I thought that wasn't even being shown on the launch schedule anymore - I'd wondered where it'd gone.
Well, I've been following this thread only for summarizing schedule. For the latest one @input~2 has dropped it for sure.

I don't have any recent source to confirm either. I'm assuming it among 8 intended PSLV launches from here as rget weren't mentioned in schedule.
https://english.manoramaonline.com/news/nation/2018/12/23/year-of-many-new-beginnings-for-indian-space-sector.html

Offline Eric Hedman

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Liked: 391
  • Likes Given: 303
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #9 on: 01/09/2019 04:15 am »
I would imagine that the first opportunity could be to send someone from India up on a commercial crew flight for a stay and bring some experiments to try.  Dragon and CST-100 can bring more people than Soyuz so there may be some extra seats.  How the training and financial arrangements could be worked out is anyone's guess until some one from the US or India proposes it.  It would probably take a while to certify any capsule from India as safe to dock so I don't think that would be quick.


Okay, so the Dragon-proving route would be out of the question? How many flights did they take? I thought they did it in one flight, after first doing various proving maneuvers.
SpaceX had the advantage of working out procedures and building relationships with teams in NASA for a number of years in development before they sent their first capsule to the ISS.  While some of the lessons learned apply, It would take a while for the ISS partners to build the relationships and experience needed to work with India.  So it isn't just a question of the number of flights.

Offline K210

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
  • Liked: 89
  • Likes Given: 12
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #10 on: 01/09/2019 11:04 am »
In my opinion india should skip the ISS and build its own space station. Pretty sure the ISS will be retired by mid 2020s anyway.

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4562
  • Liked: 695
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #11 on: 01/09/2019 12:16 pm »
In my opinion india should skip the ISS and build its own space station. Pretty sure the ISS will be retired by mid 2020s anyway.

What kind of space station could India build? And what would it usefully do that others haven't already done? Should India be reinventing the wheel? Is there any longer-term vision or roadmap for India's Human Spaceflight program beyond just Gaganyaan?

Maybe that's a topic for another thread.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: How Could India Participate in ISS?
« Reply #12 on: 01/09/2019 02:57 pm »
In my opinion india should skip the ISS and build its own space station. Pretty sure the ISS will be retired by mid 2020s anyway.
Cheaper to use ISS or any commercial replacement. Most of costs of spacestation stays is in crew and supply transport costs,  which India will be able to supply.

The idea is to spend money on spacefight domestically, keeping money in local economy. Better to offer a cargo or crew flight in exchange for station stay than pay cash to foreign country or company.




Tags: