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India’s ambitious space program is set to achieve a significant milestone with the unveiling of the latest design for the Bharatiya Antariksha Station (BAS). Building on the initial plans announced in 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has doubled the station’s mass and crew capacity, showcasing a leap in technological prowess and vision for human spaceflight.

The BAS now boasts an overall mass of 52 tons, significantly increased from the initially planned 25 tons. This robust design spans 27 meters in length and 20 meters in width, providing ample space for scientific experiments, habitation, and operations.

The station is designed to comfortably accommodate a crew of 3-4 astronauts for nominal missions. For shorter durations, it can support a maximum crew size of up to 6 members, doubling the previous capacity of 3. This enhancement aligns with the goal of longer and more frequent human spaceflights.

The BAS will operate in a circular orbit at an altitude of 400-450 kilometers, with an inclination of 51.5°. This orbit allows for extensive Earth observation and research opportunities, facilitating various scientific and technological experiments.

ISRO aims to make the BAS operational by 2035, marking a significant milestone in India’s space exploration journey. This ambitious timeline reflects India’s growing capabilities in space technology and its commitment to advancing human spaceflight.

Advanced Features and Capabilities

Modular Design: The BAS will consist of five metallic modules, each serving distinct functions such as habitation, research, and communication. This modular approach allows for scalability and flexibility in station operations and maintenance.

Cupola: Inspired by the International Space Station (ISS), the BAS will feature a Cupola, offering astronauts breathtaking views of Earth and space. This observational module will also serve as a crucial station for monitoring and controlling external activities.

Docking and Berthing Systems: Equipped with advanced docking and berthing systems, the BAS will facilitate seamless arrivals and departures of spacecraft. This capability is essential for crew rotations, cargo deliveries, and potential collaborations with international space agencies.

Roll-out Solar Array (ROSA): The BAS will harness solar energy through the Roll-out Solar Array (ROSA) technology, ensuring a reliable and sustainable power supply for station operations. ROSA’s compact and efficient design enhances the station’s energy management.

Propellant Refueling and Servicing: To ensure long-term operational efficiency, the BAS will feature systems for propellant refueling and servicing. This capability extends the station’s lifespan and reduces the need for frequent resupply missions from Earth.

Avionics and Communication Systems: State-of-the-art avionics and communication systems will enable precise control and seamless communication between the BAS, mission control, and other spacecraft. These systems are critical for the safety and success of the mission.

Inertial and Control Systems: Advanced inertial and control systems will ensure the station’s stability and orientation, enabling precise maneuvering and alignment for various operations and experiments.