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Indian Manned Spacecraft
India began its national manned space program in 2006. As of 2014, the design had evolved to this 7.8-metric-ton version. In December 2014 a boilerplate of the reentry capsule had been tested, but funding limitations meant no date was set for testing of an all-up spacecraft, to be launched by the GSLV-III launch vehicle.

AKA: Orbital Vehicle 2015. Status: Design 2014. First Launch: 2014-12-18. Last Launch: 2014-12-18. Number: 1 . Gross mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Height: 5.80 m (19.00 ft). Diameter: 3.10 m (10.10 ft).

Development of the Orbital Vehicle began in 2006. The original plan was for a two-crew conical Gemini-type spacecraft with an endurance of a week in space. The full-scale design was finalized by March 2008, and funded from February 2009. A mock-up was delivered in 2009. First manned flight was to be in 2013, then 2016. The project suffered from low funding, and by 2014, despite a suborbital test of a capsule boilerplate, no date was announced for the first full-up unmanned or manned flight. Availability of funding would determine whether that could occur before 2000 or if the project would be abandoned.

As of 2015 the design utilized a Soyuz-shaped reentry capsule with a mass of 3735 kg, a diameter of 3.100 m and height of 2.678 m. The ablative reentry shield consisted of carbon phenolic tiles, with tan medium density ablative tiles covering the rest of the outer surface. After re-entry, at a velocity of 233 m/s, a pair of 2.3 meter diameter pilot parachutes stabilized the capsule. This was followed by a pair of 6.2 m diameter drogue parachutes, which reduced the velocity to 50 m/s. At 5 km altitude three 31-m diameter main parachutes deployed. The capsule was designed to splash down in the ocean followed by recovery by Indian naval vessels. The reaction control system consisted of six 100-N thrusters burning MMH / MON3 storable propellants. The capsule was designed to initially accomodate two astronauts on long-duration solo missions. The design allowed later modification to carry three on short-duration shuttle missions to an orbiting space station.

In comparison with the Soyuz and Shenzhou capsules, the Indian version is significantly larger and heavier:

Re-entry Vehicle    
Total Mass-kg                3,000     3,240     3,735 
Length-m                      1.90      2.06      2.68
Diameter-m                    2.17      2.52      3.10
Volume compared to Soyuz      1.00      1.46      2.88

The service module, based on a 2013 ISRO drawing, is powered by two high-expansion-ratio liquid propellant engines. Based on the payload capability of the GSLV-III booster, it would have a mass of around 3000 kg. A launch escape system. using a tower approach like that on Soyuz, Shenzhou, and Apollo, was planned. In-cabin space suits would be based on the Russian Sokol suit.

Country: India. Launch Vehicles: GSLV-3. Launch Sites: Sriharikota SLP.

2014 December 18 - . 04:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Sriharikota. Launch Complex: Sriharikota SLP. Launch Pad: Srikarikota SLP. LV Family: GSLV. Launch Vehicle: GSLV-3.

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