ISRO to send humanoid robot to space to test safety

The ISRO is preparing to launch the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission with a female-looking spacefaring humanoid robot called Vyommitra.
Mrigakshi Dixit
Vyommitra humanoid robot.
Vyommitra humanoid robot.


The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has demonstrated its technological prowess by becoming the first nation to accomplish a soft landing near the Moon's South Pole. 

ISRO is now aiming to launch more ambitious missions, which have been in the works for many years.

One of them is Aditya L1, India's first space-based observatory to study our host star, the Sun, which is set to launch on September 2. Gaganyaan, the first human spaceflight mission, has a tentative launch timeline of 2024. The mission was supposed to launch in 2022, however, it was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to recent developments, the ISRO is preparing to launch the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission with a female-looking spacefaring humanoid robot called Vyommitra — before human spaceflight.

The prototype was reportedly first unveiled at the 2021 event 'Human Spaceflight and Exploration - Present Challenges and Future Trends' in Bengaluru, India. 

Vyomitra humanoid

The ISRO intends to send this half-humanoid that resembles humans into space to demonstrate the safe functioning of the crew module. It is called a half-humanoid because it lacks legs but can bend forward and sideways. 

Reportedly, Vyommitra is capable of performing a wide range of tasks, including alerting and performing life support procedures. It can conduct tasks such as switch panel operations and module parameter monitoring. 

The robot can also recognize humans, answer questions, and conduct experiments as and when needed. The humanoid will replicate human functions in space and interact with the life support system's environment control.

Gaganyaan mission 

Gaganyaan, primarily a technological demonstration mission, will send three Indian astronauts into a 400-kilometer orbit around the Earth. They will also execute various experiments during this short mission of three to seven days. The astronauts will return to Earth safely by landing in the Indian Ocean. 

For the successful completion of the mission, there are several engineering hurdles that need to be addressed. The Gaganyaan mission requires the development of numerous important technologies, including a human-rated launch vehicle capable of safely transporting humans to space. 

It will also necessitate the development of a life support system to offer an earth-like environment for the crew in space, as well as crew emergency escape provision and other crew management features, like crew training, recuperation, and rehabilitation in space. 

Four fighter pilots from the Indian Air Force were chosen as possible crew members for the human space flight project. The crew had said to have received basic training in Russia.

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