Gaganyaan: Astronaut to go into space in 2022

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on February 01, 2019

The GSLV rocket will be ISRO’s mainstay in future missions involving humans, heavier commercial satellites and the Chandrayaan-2   -  PTI

In 1984, India sent its first cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma to space in a Soviet spacecraft.

After 38 years, in 2022, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will send the first astronaut in a mission called Gaganyaan.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the interim Budget presented in the Lok Sabha today, said “Our space programe Gaganyaan will make India the launchpad of satellites for the world and place an Indian astronaut into space by 2022, which reflects the seventh dimension of our vision which aims at the outer skies”.

Week-long mission

The ISRO will drive the project, which will use the GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket, the technology of which is being mastered by space scientists.

The Union Cabinet in December 2018 had approved ₹10,000 crore for the Gaganyaan Project under which a 3-member crew will be sent to space for atleast 7 days.

It was a follow up of the announcement on August 15 last year made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been a strong supporter of India’s space missions and dreams.

In his Independence Day speech, the PM stated that the launch will coincide with the 75th year of India’s freedom and pushed the ISRO into fast tracking their efforts.

The GSLV rocket will be ISRO’s mainstay in the future missions involving humans, heavier commercial satellites, interplanetary missions and the Chandrayaan-2 (Moon mission).

The Space agency has been making rapid progress with successive launches of the GSLV since 2017.

‘Human in Space’

The ISRO has been working on the ‘Human in Space’ project for over a decade now. It is quite confident of achieving the ambitious project, said K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO.

He said, “Its a tight schedule for ISRO of 40 months, but we will do it”.

The agency has made headway already and will carry out a series of tests in the next few years.

It has also tied up with trusted ally Russia and France for accelerating the mission developments.

The astronaut will carry the tricolour flag.

In 1984, Rakesh Sharma’s first words from space to then PM, Indira Gandhi were “Saare Jahan se Accha, Hindu Sitha Hamara” ( From outer space, India is the most beautiful).

Published on February 01, 2019

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