Prof. K Ganapathy
InnovaSpace Advisory Board member, Past President Telemedicine Society of India, Former Secretary/Past President Neurological Society of India & Indian Society for Stereotactic & Functional Neurosurgery, Emeritus Professor Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University, Former Adjunct Professor IIT Madras & Anna University Madras, Founder Director, Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation & Apollo Tele Health.
January 22-24th 2020 saw the taking place of an international Symposium on Human Spaceflight, in Bengaluru, India. The event, jointly organised by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and Astronautical Society of India (ASI), under the theme of ‘Human Space Flight and Exploration – Present Challenges and Future Trends’, saw the coming together of more than 500 national and international delegates, all experts in the field of human spaceflight related technologies, from space agencies, astronauts, representatives of International space industries and academic institutes, young professionals and students.
The Symposium was inaugurated on the 22nd January 2020 by Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the presence of Dr K Sivan, Chairman of ISRO, and the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi conveyed a special message to the symposium participants. The PM highlighted that the benefits of India’s Space programme should be shared with the entire world, in line with India’s wisdom of "Vasudaiva Kutumbakam" - which in Sanskrit means the World is one family.
Shri P Kunhikrishnan, Director, URSC and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, welcomed the participants. Dr B N Suresh, Honorary Distinguished Professor, ISRO and Dr Jean Marc Astorg, Director Launch Vehicle Directorate, CNES, France, the International Programme Committee Co-Chairs addressed the gathering.
The ‘Heads of Space Agencies Panel’ was composed of the Space Agency chiefs from India and Romania, and the heads of the Human Spaceflight Programmes of CNES (France), NASA (USA), JAXA (Japan), ASI (Italy), and ROSCOSMOS (Russia). The agency heads made deliberations on the progress and future plans of the respective Space Agencies under the changing landscape and economics of human spaceflight and deep space exploration. Mr Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES addressed the gathering on January 24, 2020 on the Indo–French partnership in human spaceflight.
Another significant event in the Symposium was the ‘Astronaut Panel’ held on January 23, 2020 with the participation of five astronauts from France, Germany, Russia, USA and UAE, with the panel being moderated by Air Commodore (Retd) Mr Ravish Malhotra. The astronauts presented their thoughts on spaceflight and the technical, physiological and psychological challenges of humans during spaceflight.
The Symposium received a good response from the Industry, and an exclusive industry panel was also organised providing an opportunity for Indian and foreign space industry leaders to discuss their perspectives on human spaceflight and exploration.
A total of 19 invited and plenary lectures were delivered by eminent experts in the Human spaceflight area, from USA, Russia, France, Japan, Italy, Germany and the UAE. Around 100 technical papers were presented by the delegates from different countries under 5 major topics, namely, Challenges, Enabling Technologies, Ground Systems, Scientific and Societal Relevance, Policy Aspects and Economics of human spaceflight. In addition, an exclusive student session was held (January 23, 2020) to give a special focus on the younger generation. Sixty students from premium academic institutions across the country participated in the session and 10 selected papers were presented by students.
An exhibition of technologies and products related to Human Spaceflight, including space food, was organised as part of the symposium. A full-size model of a Crew Module, scaled models of the Crew Escape System, and the space station concept were showcased. The three-day Symposium has enabled an exchange of information between the delegates on the latest trends in human spaceflight exploration.
Also on show at the symposium was the Vyommitra 'space robot', a half-humanoid being made to accompany astronauts on the #Gaganyaan mission, and able to monitor biological parameters and perform life support operations. The robot will also be able to converse with the astronauts, recognise them and respond to their queries, as well as respond to commands from the control centre in Bengaluru and give feedback to the scientists who will be monitoring from Earth.
1 - https://www.isro.gov.in/update/24-jan-2020/iaa-isro-asi-symposium-human-space-flight-and-exploration-was-organised-bangalore
2 - https://www.news18.com/news/tech/isros-vyom-mitra-humanoid-robot-set-for-an-unmanned-trip-into-space-watch-video-2469801.html
InnovaSpace Advisory Board Member Prof K. Ganapathy presented a paper at the symposium on “Neurological Changes in Outer Space”. It was the only paper presented by a medical doctor and served to raise the awareness of leading space scientists, engineers and technologists to the significance of giving equal importance to the health of the Vyomanauts on board the spacecraft.