ISRO is looking for seats for the Gaganyaan crew capsule from local manufacturers. ISRO facilities across the country collaborate closely with hundreds of small vendors for providing components to its space missions. To the greatest extent possible, ISRO intends to source components for its space missions from Indian vendors.

The newly established Human Spaceflight Centre (HSFC) at the ISRO HQ in Bangalore, has floated a tender for the design, realisation, qualification and delivery of the Crew Seat Assembly. The seats are for the Gaganyaan crew capsule, and will be occupied by astronauts in future crewed flights. There is a requirement for the seats to be provisioned with restraints for the dynamic phases of the mission, which means the rough ride into space, and the re-entry, on nominal missions. On off-nominal missions, the restraints can be a crucial safety mechanism during a crew abort, if the rocket does not perform as expected or veers off course. ISRO plans a single point locking mechanism for the restraints, or seatbelts.

Astronauts will be required to use the seats in their spacesuits as well. For this reason, the seat itself will need to have electrical and pneumatic interfaces to connect with the suit. There is also an element to absorb excess energy, known as an impact attenuator. This element will dampen the violent shakes that astronauts are exposed to during spaceflight, especially during the splashdown after the deployment of the parachutes towards the end of a Gaganyaan crew flight. The hardware has to be human rated, considering it is for the Gaganyaan crew module.

ISRO sources components for its space missions from over 500 suppliers in India, most of which are small and medium industries. ISRO has a long history of collaborating closely with private industries, right from the inception of India’s own space program. Going forward, ISRO intends to increase its reliance on private industry partners, for realising the ambitious vision of assembling the Antariksha Bharatiya Station in Earth orbit by 2035, going on to landing an Indian on the lunar surface by 2040, and setting up a base of lunar operations by 2047, that can serve as a staging ground for future deep space missions.