An Indian astronaut will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board the 'Gaganyaan', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day address in New Delhi.
He said when India celebrates her 75th year of Independence in 2022, "and if possible even before, an Indian son or daughter" will undertake a crewed space mission on board 'Gaganyaan' carrying the national flag.
PM Modi, in his address, also lauded the efforts of Indian scientists in putting the country on the global map with space innovations.
After PM Modi’s announcement, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday said that it is planning to put an Indian astronaut for seven days in space at a cost less than Rs 10,000 crore as part of its crewed mission by 2022, IANS reported.
While addressing the media, ISRO Chairman K Sivan said on Wednesday that the man or the woman will be there in space at least for seven days. He explained that the rocket to be used for the mission would be a Geosynchronous Satellite launch Vehicle Mark III (GSlV-Mk III).
“He will be in a spacecraft, 300-400 km above earth," Sivan said, as quoted by IANS.
Queried about the target date set by Modi and the steps to be taken by ISRO, Sivan said: "We will have to get a formal approval for the project. The manned mission project cost will be less than Rs 10,000 crore.
"We are in the process of developing some of the technologies and already have some. Our idea is to develop everything within India," IANS quoted Sivan as saying.
Sivan said ISRO has already tested the crew module and crew escape systems.
The space agency on 5 July carried out a successful maiden pad abort test at its spaceport Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh for the safe escape of the crew in an emergency.
According to him, the selection of astronaut to fly the spacecraft would be done by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the spaceflight training would be given overseas.
Sivan said ISRO has to set up necessary infrastructural facilities like the control centres for the proposed manned mission.
Chandrayaan-1 was India's first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008 and operated until August 2009.
Mangalyaan is another Indian space project.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, is a space probe orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)