Gaganyaan: France to help ISRO on 1st human space mission

Bengaluru: Stepping up space cooperation, India and France on Thursday inked an agreement to collaborate on Gaganyaan, ISRO’s first human space mission.

The two countries have formed a working group for the project. The MoU was signed to define the conditions in which we are going to work together, the CNES president said.

India plans to send three humans to space before 2022. The Indian Space Research Organisation’s mission is significant as it would make India one of the four countries in the world after Russia, US and China to launch a manned space flight.

“The first step under the MoU is to exchange specialists to work on (space) medicine. We are going to send our specialists to identify exactly what we are going to do together. We have facilities like space hospital in France, and so we are doing exchange notes on the topic,” Gall said in an interaction with PTI.

Engineering teams have already begun discussions and it is envisioned that infrastructure such as CADMOS centre for development of microgravity applications and space operations or the MEDES space clinic will be used for training of future Indian astronauts, as well as exchange of specialist personnel, Gall said.

ISRO plans to conduct experiments on microgravity through its astronauts.

The seeds of the MoU were sown when India and France released a joint vision on space cooperation during French President Emmanuel Marcon’s visit to Delhi this March.

Under the vision statement, it was agreed that ISRO and CNES would jointly develop capabilities and critical technologies.

The trio: France is one of the three countries, the other two being the US and Russia, who share cooperation in the three strategic areas of defence, nuclear and space.

The cooperation

The ambit of the cooperation includes giving ISRO access to space hospital facilities in France and combining expertise of the two space agencies in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems.