Keeping his promise as announced from the ramparts of Red Fort this year on the Independence Day, Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet on Friday gave nod to Rs 10,000 crore budget for the proposed human spaceflight mission—Gaganyaan. It envisages sending astronauts to space by 2022.
“The Union Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days,” announced Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, at a press conference on Friday.
Since being announced by the Prime Minister, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has upped the ante for its implementation.
From testing medical equipment in space to micro-biological experiments such as biological air filters and biosensors, and from life support and biomedical waste management to monitoring toxic gases, ISRO is looking at a pool of at least 10 experiments.
“While we have indicated 10 areas that we are interested in, we won’t be restricting experiments to just these areas,” an ISRO official told a leading English daily, adding: “Also, we will be getting specific experiments in these areas from various institutions across India.”
ISRO has also officially announced opportunities for LEO-based microgravity experiments.
“As ISRO is planning a human spaceflight mission, it seeks input from the national scientific community to conduct experiments in microgravity platform in LEO,” ISRO has said.
ISRO is working on multiple technologies for the project and its chairman K Sivan has been confident of sending humans to space by 2022.
As part of the plan, Isro plans two unmanned flights testing all the systems in 2020 and 2021, Sivan has said, even as work on making the system human-rated in ongoing.