The Hush Post| 11:39 am| two-minute-read
After Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut will be in space by 2012. Also part of this space programme will be Indian women who too will travel to space.
The target for sending astronauts to space is December 2021, the chief of ISRO has said. The ambitious Gaganyaan project by the space agency will help India become the fourth nation to independently send humans to space.
The announcement of the Gaganyaan project was first made last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day. He had then said “a son or daughter of India will go to space” by 2022.
The preliminary training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training will be carried out in Russia. “Women astronauts will be there on the team. That’s our aim,” ISRO chief K Sivan said.
Last month, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had made an announcement that three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022 as part of Gaganyaan. The cabinet has cleared of Rs. 10,000 crore for the programme.
ISRO hopes to deploy its biggest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), to send the astronauts into space from the Sriharikota space port in Andhra Pradesh.
The astronauts will be called “Vyomnauts.’’ Vyom is a Sanskrit word which means void. The ISRO chief said the candidates selected for the space mission will be trained initially in India and then sent for advanced training.
India has inked agreements with Russia and France for assistance in Gaganyaan.
Till date, ISRO has spent Rs. 173 crore developing critical technologies for human space flight. The plan was first pitched in 2008. However, due to the recession, the plan was put on a back burner.
Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian to have travelled to the space aboard Soyuz T-11 as part of the Russian programme way back in 1984.