In a boost to India’s aerospace missions, the Cabinet Friday approved the indigenous spacecraft project called Gaganyaan under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. The testing phase is expected to begin from December 2020 and the mission will be undertaken from 2022, he added.
The historic mission is expected to have a crew capacity of three astronauts and is supposed to operate for at least a week. The total cost of the project is reported to be Rs. 10,000 crores and the mission, if successful, will ensure India’s addition to the club of three countries that have sent a manned mission to the outer space.
“The astronauts will be inside a crew module which will be attached to a services module to maintain services for them, and then onto an orbital module. The orbital module will be placed on the launch vehicle for the launch,” ISRO chairman K Sivan had earlier said. “The launch will take place within 16 minutes, the crew will be transported from Sriharikota to a low earth orbit of 400 km. They will stay in orbit for 5-7 days.”
Russia has committed full support to India’s manned spaceflight initiative. A crucial MoU was signed between ISRO and the Federal Space Agency of Russia ‘ROSCOSMOS’ on joint activities in the field of the human spaceflight programme during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi in October this year.
Previously, Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union), United States and China have been the only countries in the world to have launched manned space missions successfully.
(With Inputs from ANI, ENS)
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