Space Minister Jitendra Singh announced here on Sunday that Isro’s female robot astronaut, “Vyommitra,” will launch into space ahead of its ambitious “Gaganyaan” manned mission. The launch of the humanoid mission is set for the third quarter of this year. The minister also made it clear that the last manned mission, which would send three astronauts into zero gravity to conduct experiments and experience the consequences of space travel for seven days, is set to launch the following year, in 2025.

The name “Vyommitra” is a combination of the Sanskrit terms “Vyoma,” which means “space,” and “Mitra,” which means “friend.”

According to Jitendra Singh, the Vyommitra can monitor module parameters, send out alerts, and carry out life support functions. It can also answer questions and run six panels, among other things. Singh went on to explain that “Vyommitra” is made to mimic human activities in a space environment and communicate with the life support system.

The 2021 event themed ‘Human Spaceflight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends’ featured Vyommitra’s debut during its inaugural session.

It is pertinent to note that on October 21, of last year, the maiden test vehicle flight TV D1 was completed in preparation for the launch of India’s first human space flight mission. The purpose of this was to validate the crew escape and parachute systems. The launch vehicle has also been fully human-rated. Every stage of propulsion is qualified, and all necessary arrangements are made.

The three astronauts will be launched into a 400-kilometre orbit as part of the Gaganyaan project, which aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. They will subsequently be safely returned to Earth by landing in Indian ocean seas.

In order to show the state of technological readiness prior to the real human spaceflight mission, a number of precursor missions have been proposed. The integrated air drop test (IADT), pad abort test (PAT), and test vehicle (TV) flights are all included in these demonstrator missions. Before starting manned missions, all systems will undergo extensive testing in unmanned missions to ensure their safety and dependability.