Mumbai: The target for India’s manned mission to space is December 2021, ISRO Chief K Sivan said on Friday.
“The preparations for Gaganyaan Mission are underway. It has been a major turning point for ISRO,” Sivan said while addressing a press conference in Bengaluru.
The ambitious “Gaganyaan” project will help India become the fourth nation in the world to independently send humans to space after the United States, Russia and China.
ISRO chief also said that the organisation aims to make women astronauts part of the mission.
“The initial training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training may be in Russia. Women astronauts will be there on the team. That’s our aim,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi first made the announcement of the Gaganyaan project on 72nd Independence Day – his fifth and final address ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Last month, the Union Cabinet approved a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for sending three Indian astronauts to space for a minimum of 7 days by 2022 as part of the programme.
Prior to the actual launch, the ISRO will have two unmanned missions, and the spacecraft will be fired using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III.
“The target for two unmanned missions to space is December 2020 and July 2021,” ISRO chief said.
India plans to call its astronauts “Vyomanauts” (Vyom in Sanskrit means space).