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June 24, 2019

Why India needs it's Own Space Station ?

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The Chairman of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), K Sivan, recently announced that India is planning to have it's own Space Station. With the help of this space station, India will conduct separate missions to study the Sun and Venus.  The proposed space station will be 15-20 tonnes in weight, will be used for microgravity tests, can host people for 15-20 days. The space station will be ready by 2030. With this, India will bcome the 4th country in the world to set up a Space Station. Other 3 countries are Russia, United States and China.

ISRO will begin working on its space station following Gaganyaan 2 (India's 1st manned mission to space) in 2022 —  just in time to commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence from Britain. The government has sanctioned Rs 10,000 crores ($1.5 billion) for the Gaganyaan mission. The plan for India’s own space station is a logical extension of Gaganyaan.

Many of us might think, what is the significance of this space station and why to waste so much money on it instead of spending that on social welfare. Before getting the answer, we need to know what a space station is. A space station is a spacecraft which revolves around the earth and provides a small habitable space for a few humans to live for a few days to carry out cutting edge scientific research in an environment that cannot be simulated on earth.

Having our own space station will help us in a number of ways. In communications, agriculture management, disaster management, land management, and national security and so on. Isro’s former chairman G Madhavan Nair said establishing a space station is a must for ‘keeping the leadership in the space arena’.

The space station will help to accelerate the development of reusable rockets, in-orbit docking systems, and manned missions.  It will also create new opportunities for other spacecraft to dock as well as allowing for cross-collaboration experiments between countries. This is important given that, after 2028 when the ISS likely to have been wound up, the only crewed space station is likely to be China’s. So by that time, it will be an advantage to India having it's own space station.

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