BENGALURU: Vyomamitra, the half-humanoid, who is now inducted into Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and will be the test simulator on the unmanned Gaganyaan mission in December 2020, was a major attraction at the symposium on human space flight and exploration by International Academy of Astronautics, (IAA) ISRO and Astronautical Society of India here on Wednesday.
ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan said Vyomamitra’s role is to be a human simulator of the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission end of 2020.
Flaunting her identity card with a validity till 2023, Vyomamitra, the first humanoid, (a woman-like robot), will enter space somewhere at the end of this year on the first unmanned Gaganyaan space flight.
"Hello everyone. I am Vyomamitra, the prototype of the half-humanoid, made for the first unmanned Gaganyaan mission," she greeted delegates visiting the event.
"I can monitor the module parameters, alert you and perform life support operations. I can perform activities like switch panel operations."
Vyomamitra, a combination of two Sanskrit words Vyoma (Space) and Mitra (Friend) can be a companion to astronauts and even recognise and react to them. It was developed by ISRO's Inertial Systems Unit in Thiruvanathapuram.
A prototype developed was brought at to the conference attended by a high-level delegation from various space agencies including Russia's ROSCOSMOS and USA's NASA.
Scientists involved in developing the half humanoid said it will operate the crew module and also keep a check on life support operations.
For instance, it will monitor carbon dioxide and oxygen levels.
"The form of human, instead of just random sensors was essential to simulate the astronaut, replicate their presence," D Sam Dayala Dev, Director of Inertial Systems Unit said.
In the first unmanned mission, just one humanoid will be sent into space, and it will also operate the switches, besides gauging the temperature and pressure inside the crew module (or the capsule in which Gaganyaan astronauts will reside).
Microgravity tests will also be held to check how humans would perform in space.
Although Vyomamitra through deep neural networks has learnt to communicate with humans and can recognise and converse with the astronauts, also respond to queries. However, there are no plans to
send Vyomamitra on the manned space mission which is due by 2022.
First unmanned mission planned with Vyomamitra: December 2020
Second unmanned mission: June/July 2021
First manned mission: December 2021/January 2022