Indian Astronauts Don Striking Blue Uniforms Crafted by NIFT for Gaganyaan Space Mission

Fashion Meets Space: Indian Astronauts Rock Striking Blue Uniforms Crafted by NIFT for Gaganyaan Mission.
Indian Astronauts Don Striking Blue Uniforms Crafted by NIFT for Gaganyaan Space Mission
Indian Astronauts Don Striking Blue Uniforms Crafted by NIFT for Gaganyaan Space Mission

India's space agency has collaborated with a top fashion institute to craft ground uniforms for the four astronauts selected for the inaugural Gaganyaan space mission.

The astronauts met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February donning striking blue uniforms designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bengaluru. The NIFT team, led by Prof Jonalee Bajpai, opted for an asymmetric design symbolizing energy and tranquility, with the blue hue representing the sky and peace, all crafted from Indian cotton-based fabric.

NDTV's Science Editor Pallava Bagla delved into the design process at Prof Jonalee Bajpai's lab, where 150 designs were crafted, eventually narrowing down to 70 options for ISRO's consideration. The chosen ground uniform features a dynamic blend of dark and light blue, adorned with horizontal stripes and a distinctive astronaut patch incorporating wings, the Ashok Chakra, and the ISRO logo.

Explaining the rationale behind the asymmetric design, Dr. Mohan V K, a fashion technologist at NIFT Bengaluru, highlighted its youthful and visually captivating appeal, aimed at resonating with India's diverse populace and signaling the nation's entry into the league of spacefaring nations.

The four test pilots selected for the Gaganyaan mission, namely Prashanth Nair, Angad Prathap, Ajit Krishnan, and Shubhanshu Shukla, signify India's ambitious foray into human spaceflight, aiming to launch a crew into Low Earth Orbit for up to a week before safely returning.

According to ISRO, the Gaganyaan project seeks to validate human spaceflight capabilities by deploying a crew of three to orbit 400 km above Earth for a three-day mission, culminating in a safe return via splashdown in Indian waters. Key prerequisites encompass the development of pivotal technologies, including a human-rated launch vehicle, life support systems, crew emergency protocols, and comprehensive crew management frameworks.

A series of precursor missions, such as the Integrated Air Drop Test (IADT), Pad Abort Test (PAT), and Test Vehicle (TV) flights, are slated to demonstrate the requisite technological readiness ahead of the manned mission. The deployment of the LVM3 rocket, ISRO's proven heavy-lift launcher, has been earmarked for the Gaganyaan mission.

Ensuring human safety remains paramount, necessitating the development and implementation of cutting-edge engineering and human-centric systems. India's recent triumphs, including the successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon's South Pole and the launch of Aditya-L1, underscore its growing prowess in the global space arena, catalyzing momentum in the domestic private space sector.

Looking ahead, India sets ambitious goals, aiming to establish the 'Bharatiya Antariksha Station' by 2035 and dispatch its first astronaut to the Moon by 2040, further cementing its stature as a formidable player in space exploration.

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