as we heard

Space Decisions Rushed?

19 July 2019

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s decision to launch Chandrayaan-2 on July 22 has stirred concern. Is it under pressure from the space bureaucracy or politicians to adhere to certain timelines?  Although the decision for launch is made after due consultation, some members of the space scientific community would prefer the mission be launched at a later date after a thorough vetting of all systems including the indigenous cryogenic engine. The same rush is discerned in the Gaganyaan mission for December 2021, when three astronauts will orbit the Earth.  The first meeting of the Gaganyaan Advisory Council last month underscored this, describing the deadline as “a very demanding time frame”, and warning of “formidable challenges”. Concern has also been voiced over the preference for Russia in the Gaganyaan mission even though they did not deliver on the lunar rover and lander for Chandrayaan-2. The question being asked is why India opted to train its astronauts in Russia when NASA was offering its facilities?

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