India, France to collaborate on human space mission Gaganayaan

Stepping up space cooperation, India and France 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 ambit of the cooperation includes giving ISRO access to space hospital facilities in France and combining the 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, the president of the French space agency Jean-Yves Le Gall said. 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.

Under the vision statement, it was agreed that ISRO and CNES would jointly develop capabilities and critical technologies addressing radiation shielding solutions, personal hygiene, and waste management system and design of man-in-loop simulators for human spaceflight as well as bioastronautics. ISRO Chairman K Sivan said the joint vision statement was an umbrella agreement while today’s MoU was more specific to the human space mission. French-Indian space cooperation spans in areas of climate monitoring, with a fleet of joint satellites devoted to research and operational applications, innovation, through a joint technical group tasked with inventing launch vehicles of the future.

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