India's Modi announces space mission, health scheme as election nears

16 August, 2018, 19:53 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses to the nation on the country's Independence Day from the ramparts of the historical Red Fort in New Delhi India Wednesday Aug. 15 2018

It would be proceeded by two unmanned expeditions, the first of which would launch in 2020, he said.

Sivan further added that a team of scientists have already been designated to do the job and several technologies like crew module and escape systems have already been developed.

Asked about the 2022 time frame for the mission as announced by the prime minister, Nair said: "It is tight but if you decouple the setting up of facilities in India, certainly it's doable".

The space agency will need to work with other government agencies, including the Defence Research and Development Organisation and the Indian Air Force, to execute the mission, the chairman said.

The ISRO is yet to finalise the exact timeline of tests before a manned mission can take off, as it plans to have two unmanned test flights onboard a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk 3.

If successful, India would be the fourth country in the world to conduct a manned space mission after the US, China and Russian Federation.

Onlookers watch the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle at Sriharikota
On Independence Day, Modi promises Indian manned space mission

"Technologies that will help in sending an Indian astronaut to space - like human crew module and environment control and life support system - have already been developed", he added.

"We are in the process of developing some of the technologies and already have some. We will use GLSV Mark-III for this project", Sivan told PTI. "They successfully completed the Mars mission".

It should be noted Indian Airforce pilot Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to have travelled in space. He flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 in 1984.

Kalpana Chawla became first woman of Indian origin to fly into space. Chawla was one of the seven crew members who perished in the space shuttle Columbia disaster during re-entry into the earth's atmosphere in 2003. The country's second lunar probe Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launched by January 2019 and will attempt a soft landing of a rover near the moon's south pole.

K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman under whose leadership the Mangalyaan mission was launched in 2013, termed the announcement of Gaganyaan mission a "turning point" for the ISRO. The astronauts will also be conducting experiments in space, details of which are yet to be decided by ISRO.

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