The Union Cabinet has approved a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for sending three Indian astronauts to space for a minimum of 7 days by 2022 under the indigenous human spacelight programme – “Gaganyaan”, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced at the media briefing on Friday.
With this India will become fourth nation to send man to space after the US, Russia and China.
The announcement of the Gaganyaan project was first made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on India’s 72nd Independence Day – his fifth and final address ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan had then said it was a “very, very tight schedule but we are committed to meet the PM’s deadline. It is not an ISRO mission but a national mission project and we will achieve it.”
Prior to the actual launch by 2022, the ISRO will have two unmanned missions, and the spacecraft will be fired using the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III, ISRO chief said.
“We have already developed the technology like human crew module and environment control and life support system. Before undertaking the launch, we will have two unmanned missions,” Sivan said.
ISRO hopes to deploy the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV MK III), to send three Indians into space from Sriharikota in the next few years.
India plans to call its astronauts “Vyomanauts” (Vyom in Sanskrit means space).
ISRO is known for its space programme that focuses on projects which matter to the day-to-day lives of people.