ISRO will have a robot resembling a human conducting experiments in space twice before actually sending humans by 2022. The space agency looking at experiments from at least 10 areas ranging from testing medical equipment to microbiological experiments. ISRO chairman K Sivan said the Gaganyaan design configuration may be frozen by next week

BANGALORE: India may not be testing systems being built as part of the Gaganyaan project with animals, but the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will have a humanoid-a robot resembling a human-conducting a handful of experiments in space on two occasions before actually sending humans by 2022.

"The humanoid is almost ready," ISRO chairman K Sivan TOI, adding: "...We want to make sure that this mission serves a purpose beyond displaying our ability to send humans and bring them back safely."

He said that ISRO will fly the humanoid in both the unmanned flights planned before the actual human spaceflight mission. "Our robot will be like a human, and be able to do whatever a man can do, although not as extensively as humans. We want to show that even the first flight will not go empty and also ensure that we utilise the opportunity in the maximum way. We have our own humanoid model that will be used," he said.

The TOI had reported first about the space agency looking at experiments from at least 10 areas ranging from testing medical equipment in space to micro-biological experiments such as biological air filters and biosensors, and from life support and biomedical waste management to monitoring toxic gases.

The space agency has already received more than 40 proposals from various research institutes, and they will now be evaluated by a committee of experts, which will decide on which of them will finally be conducted in space. "Many of these have very good objectives and targets, some are routine."

Gaganyaan Design Finalisation Next Week

Further, explaining the ongoing work on the Ganganyaan project-Rs 10,000 crore for which was cleared by the Centre in December-Sivan said that design configuration is likely to be frozen by next week.

"We had set up 11 Concept Review Committees (CRC) with each CRC focusing on one or more sub-systems. All of them have completed their review and we've already had one meeting of the Integrated Committee meeting. The design is likely to be finalised and frozen either this week or next week, which will be followed by procurement, making of Proto-models and tests" Sivan said.

The important CRCs are those that studied the Orbital module (crew and service module together), which is part of the mechanical systems and the ones on electrical systems, Navigation and Guidance Control systems, environmental control systems, crew escape system and human rating of launch.

"Our immediate target is to freeze the design and place the orders for procurement and fabrication," Sivan said.