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ISRO Chairman S. Somanath has unveiled plans for India’s first space station, the BAS, to demonstrate extended human spaceflight capabilities. Astronauts are expected to reside on the station for periods ranging from three to six months, with resupply missions planned quarterly.

The BAS will be constructed in low Earth orbit by meticulously docking pre-fabricated modules. This piece-by-piece approach allows for a gradual build-up, with the first module launching as early as 2028. Notably, the station will boast docking ports adhering to international standards, paving the way for potential collaboration with space agencies from other countries.

This focus on international cooperation aligns with the current docking system used on the International Space Station (ISS) – the International Docking System Standard (IDSS). This standardized interface not only facilitates collaboration but also serves a critical role in crew rescue scenarios.

Chairman Somanath emphasized the unconventional construction method for the BAS. Unlike traditional space stations launched as complete structures, the BAS will be assembled entirely in orbit. This strategy necessitates the development of various novel technologies, prompting ISRO to actively seek support from the private sector and startups.

Somanath’s statement highlights the immense potential for private entities to contribute to the BAS project. From large-scale component development to smaller, specialized tasks, there’s a role for businesses and startups across diverse sectors. This collaborative approach promises to accelerate India’s space ambitions while fostering a vibrant domestic space ecosystem.

The BAS project signifies a significant leap forward in India’s space exploration endeavors. With its focus on long-term human spaceflight and international cooperation, the BAS is poised to be a major milestone in the nation’s journey towards becoming a leading spacefaring nation.