- Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has said that India is planning to have its own space station. The modalities for it will be worked out after Gaganyaan Mission- India’s first Human Space Flight Programme which is scheduled to be launched by 2022.
- A space station is a habitable artificial satellite. It is capable of hosting crew members for an extended period of time, and provides facilities for experiments and support vehicles to dock.
- ISRO has said that India’s space station would be small with weight of the space station likely to be 20 tonnes. It will have a provision for people to live for 15-20 days. It will be used for studies including microgravity tests.
- ISRO has been working on ‘space docking experiment’ (Spadex). It seeks to demonstrate autonomous docking. It involves transfer of material between the 2 satellites, in order to demonstrate the potential for refuelling capability between spacecraft. The Department of Space had allocated 10 crore for Spadex.
- Currently, there is only one fully functional space station in the Earth’s lower orbit, the International Space Station. The ISS is a partnership between European Union (European Space Agency), the United States (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos).
- Further, China has also announced that its Tiangong or “Heavenly Palace”, a space station, will go into orbit in 2022.
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