Indian crew capsule star attraction at Bengaluru space expo

Bengaluru: The Indian space agency’s crew module, that was used and recovered in a 2014 unmanned mission, has been a star attraction at the 6th Bengaluru Space Expo being held here.

“An unmanned crew capsule that can accommodate up to three astronauts that was tested in 2014 to orbit around the Earth has been exhibited at the space expo for visitors to view,” an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official told IANS here.

A similar capsule, which is a living space and control centre for astronauts, will carry Indians to space for the country’s maiden human space mission “Gaganyaan”.

Showcased in the space agency’s pavilion, the capsule has been the cynosure of all eyes at the three-day space expo at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre.

Hundreds of school students and other visitors, making a beeline to the venue, are thronging the pavilion for a glimpse of the crew module and a model of Indian-made spacesuit that will be donned by the country’s astronauts for their space mission.

The recovered capsule, made of heat protecting tiles, was launched aboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk III to re-enter the planet — surviving temperatures as high as 1,500 degrees Celsius.

The exhibition has also featured pavilions dedicated to student-made satellites and launchers, space start-ups from across the country, and space agencies from countries including Russia, France and Taiwan.

The French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Russian space agency’s launch service provider Glavkosmos and Taiwan’s National Space Organisation (NSPO) were among the space agencies that showcased the satellites and launchers.

Space food packed for Russian cosmonauts put on display by the Glavkosmos also caught the visitors’ attention.

The biennial space expo, touted to be the largest space conference in Asia, is being held from September 6-8, with the participation of over 100 exhibitors, space agency representatives and delegates from the US, the UK, France, Russia, and Taiwan, among other countries.