India should actively get into building its own space station in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) as its next space frontier since the time is opportune for this, M.Y.S. Prasad, who retired as director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) said.
(Artistic rendition of ISS)
“It is time to look 10-15 years ahead rather than planning for incremental growth activities. Building our own space station will be beneficial on many counts and would also generate around 15,000 high-skilled jobs,”, he added.
He said the technology development needed for manned missions to Low Earth Orbit and space stations in Low Earth Orbit will enhance the knowledge and competence of the country’s space agency — Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) — and the industrial capacity of the country.
The research and development (R&D) activities in these areas need the evolution of re-entry technologies, life support systems, safe recovery systems, more reliable launch and spacecraft systems, long-term platforms operating in space for specialised experiments and others, Prasad remarked.
He said India should get into the development of a rocket that can carry 7.5 tonnes into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and 10 tonnes into Low Earth Orbit. The setting up of a space station will result in the development of orbit-docking technology which countries like the US, Russia and China now possess.
“Developing the necessary technology, building and maintaining the space station involve huge financial outlay. Human flight is what ISRO should look at,” Radhakrishnan said.