How India is inching a step closer to its mission of sending an astronaut into space by 2022

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How India is inching a step closer to its mission of sending an astronaut into space by 2022
(Photo Courtesy : isro.gov.in)
  • India may be able to accomplish its mission of sending an astronaut into space under ‘Gaganyaan’ by 2021.
  • India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation will send two unmanned flights before the first manned mission.
  • It is also working on successfully completing 10 satellite missions before January 2019.
India may soon be able to send a crew of three astronauts into space for five to seven days on an ambitious manned space exploration mission.

After successfully launching GSAT-29, India’s space agency is now planning to begin space exploration through its first manned mission -- ‘Gaganyaan’. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working aggressively towards achieving this milestone of sending a team of astronauts into space by 2021.

In order to accomplish this, it will first send one of the two ‘unmanned’ space vehicles under the programme by December, 2020, reported Economic Times citing the space agency's chief K Sivan. ISRO will assess the various parameters for India’s first manned mission through these space flights.
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Additionally, the space agency is aiming to launch six satellites and four space vehicles by January 2019, reported Economic Times.

India has made huge leaps in satellite and space research in recent years compared to its modest start in 1960s, sending 104 satellites in a single flight in 2017 and joining an elite group of nations with advanced space technologies.

In his speech on India’s independence day this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will make an effort to send a human into space by 2022 onboard ‘Ganganyaan’.
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However, India will have to bear a hefty cost to achieve this. Indian government have estimated the total cost of ‘Gaganyaan’ to be less than $1.43 billion, reported Reuters. Although, the budget is lower in comparison to United States and China who worked on similar project but it is slightly higher than ISRO’s annual budget of $1.1 billion (for 2018).

The Indian government expects that its recent satellite missions -- including those done on behalf of foreign governments will help to fund country’s space programme which has a total budget of $4 billion.
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