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India to have its own space station


New Delhi: India aims to launch its own space station in the near future, as this will help the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to send more humans to space. This was announced by Isro chairman K. Sivan here on Thursday. He said that India will not join the International Space Station.

After Chandrayaan’s Mission 2, Isro will launch another mission to the Sun by launching Aditya-L1 in the first half of 2020, he said.

An interplanetary mission to Venus will be launched in the next two to three years.

Elucidating on the space station project, Dr Sivan said the mission will also be an extension of the Gaganyaan project. “We are planning to have a separate space station. We will not be a part of the ISS. Our space station is going to be very small. We will be launching a small module and that will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments,” he told the media.

“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme. So, subsequently, as a long-term plan, we are planning to have the space station in India. We are going to join the international community in manned missions to the moon, asteroids. We have a clear plan for the space programme,” the senior scientist said.

The weight of the space station is likely to be 20 tonnes. Isro is “not thinking of space tourism”, he said.

The proposal will be sent to the government for approval after the first Gaganyaan mission by 2022, and Isro is looking at a timeframe of five to seven years for the programme’s execution. He did not elaborate on the cost of the space station.