Every Indian can be proud of manned space mission: ISRO chief

16 August, 2018, 19:54 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Narendra Modi delivers his speech as part of India's 72nd Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address on Wednesday announced that India would send a manned mission to space by 2022 on board Gaganyaan when the country completes 75 years of independence.

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I feel proud to announce that very soon as part of our "Manned Space" mission, we shall be sending an Indian into space. Prior to the actual launch by 2022, the ISRO will have two unmanned missions, and the spacecraft will be fired using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III, he said.

The mission, first proposed almost a decade ago, would cost the famously frugal space agency less than £1.1bn, he added.

The plan is to launch the rocket from a site at Sriharikota, located in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, is a space probe orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.

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Sivan added that the human spaceflight will be a national project and not just ISRO's, as the agency will be collaborating with several institutions, academia, and the industry.

The ambitious human space mission is expected to cost about Rs 10,000 crore, in addition to the already spent Rs 300-crore in developing the technologies for the mission, like the crew module.

"Simulation facilities for space environment if we wait for them to come will take time".

"We've debated for long on the tangible and intangible benefits of manned space missions", said B.N. Suresh, former director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. "The project has been underway, now we need to prioritise and achieve the target", Sivan told ANI.

If successful, India would be the fourth nation to achieve that feat. Rakesh Sharma, a former IAF pilot, was the first Indian to travel to space.

He said the first unmanned flight as part of a manned space mission will happen two years from now. Chawla was one of the seven crew members who had died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia, during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere in 2003. The satellite, later rechristened South Asian satellite, was launched in May previous year.

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