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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is taking a bold step forward in space exploration, considering a proposal to deliver a cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of the decade. This ambitious initiative, currently under discussion with ISS partner countries, signifies India’s growing capabilities and aspirations in the realm of human spaceflight.

While the specific details of the cargo mission are yet to be finalized, it is likely to be a precursor to India’s even more ambitious Gaganyaan program, which aims to send a crewed mission to space. By participating in ISS cargo missions, ISRO can gain valuable experience in spacecraft design, docking procedures, and the critical logistics required for long-duration space missions.

Discussions with ISS partner countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada, will be crucial for the success of this mission. Collaboration on such a project will not only strengthen international partnerships but also open doors for future scientific collaborations in space.

The powerful LVM3 launch vehicle, currently undergoing testing, is expected to be the workhorse for this mission. The success of the planned LVM3-G1 through LVM3-G3 uncrewed test flights of the Gaganyaan capsule will be critical in demonstrating the reliability of the launch system before a crewed mission is attempted.

If successful, ISRO’s cargo mission to the ISS would be a significant milestone for India’s space program. It would showcase the nation’s technological prowess on the global stage and mark a major step towards its goal of becoming a leading player in human space exploration.