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

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

ISRO chairman claimed that the project had already been underway but with PM Modi making a promise to the nation, they will be prioritising it and delivering what PM Modi had promised in due time.

"We will put an Indian in space by 2022 or earlier", he said. "The actual manned flight of the space capsule will be preceded by two unmanned flights", Sivan said. The astronauts will also be conducting experiments in space, details of which are yet to be decided by ISRO. The Indian manned mission will likely have a three-person crew entering the low Earth Orbit and will be carried out on board the indigenous Mark GSLV III launch vehicle.

It is a national project where multiple organisations, academia, and industry would be involved to accomplish the mission. The mission, he said in his Independence Day address, would be launched using the Indian Space ResearchOrganisation's (ISRO) own capabilities, and on successful completion, make India the fourth nation in the world to do so. "Our idea is to develop everything within India", he added. Rakesh Sharma, a former IAF pilot, was the first Indian to travel to space.

"There will be two unmanned flights before the manned mission, for which the astronaut suit is also being developed", said Sivan.

However of late, it has launched missions like Chandrayaan-1 (moon mission) and Mangalyaan that had aroused tremendous interest among people. He flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 in 1984.

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Indian-born Kalpana Chawla and Indian-origin Sunita Williams are among the known names to have gone to space.

According to him, ISRO has already tested the crew module and crew escape systems.

Chawla was one of the seven crew members who perished in the space shuttle Columbia's disaster during its re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere.

Meanwhile, former ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan, under whose leadership the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) was launched in 2013, termed the announcement of the Gaganyaan mission a "turning point" for ISRO. 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.

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