Meet Vyomitra, India’s First Humanoid To Be Sent To Outer Space
Ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut? It seems like a robot may have beaten us to it. Meet Vyomitra, India's first female humanoid astronaut.
Vyomitra was recently developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to be sent into space multiple times, as part of India’s ambitious Gaganyaan mission. The project ultimately aims to send three astronauts to space in 2022, which, if it happens, will be a record-breaking first for India.
New ‘it’ girl Vyomitra is a busy woman! She made her debut public appearance when she was unveiled at an ISRO public event in Bengaluru, India, on Wednesday. She impressed audiences by stating in her own words, that she can ‘mimic’ the activity of a crew of astronauts and “recognise them and respond to their queries”. ISRO are proud to name Vyomitra their “first female” astronaut.
Outer SpaceIf anything, the ISRO have proven themselves to be determined and resilient as they continue to gain support from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to fund upcoming space travels. In September 2019, ISRO were hopeful that India would become just the fourth country to soft-land a spacecraft on the moon with its Chandrayaan-2 mission, but in a disappointing turn of events, the spacecraft crash-landed due to a braking error.
However, they are not giving up, with chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan confirming at the beginning of January that a third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, had been approved and could launch as early as this year! The larger Gaganyaan project will send two unmanned crafts into space in December 2020 and June 2021, before sending three shortlisted astronauts and possibly Vyomitra, in 2022.
Despite facing criticism for endorsing funding for space travel whilst India battles with economic issues as a developing nation, Chief K Sivan insists that space innovation encourages the youth of India to think big. He has previously stated that starting a space program in India in 1960 was a big crazy idea but founder Dr. Vikram Sarabhai predicted the potential of space technology in transforming the country.
Now the ISRO’s latest innovation, Vyomitra might even encourage more young people, particularly women, to dream of becoming an astronaut. Afterall, Vyomitra has guts— she will be alone in the first two space missions of project Gaganyaan, representing her country as they skillfully speed ahead in the realm of space technology.