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Govt clears Rs 10,000-crore Gaganyaan mission to send 3 Indians to space by 2022

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Officially called the Human Spaceflight Programme, the first Gaganyaan launch will be in December 2020 to test an unoccupied vehicle.

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet Friday cleared India’s first human spaceflight programme, the Gaganyaan mission, and approved a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for it, announced Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The mission will carry three members to space for at least seven days. The crew is expected to launch into space by 15 August 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence.

Officially called the Human Spaceflight Programme (HSP), the first Gaganyaan launch, before a crew goes up, will be in December 2020 to test an unoccupied vehicle.

India has already inked agreements with Russia and France for assistance in the ambitious project, reported PTI.

The mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August during his Independence Day speech in New Delhi.

ISRO plans

The plans for this launch are already on track. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has completed testing several critical components and a Crew Escape System, an emergency escape mechanism to pull the ‘crew module’ safely away from the launch vehicle in case of an abort.

The crew module is where astronauts would be seated. The test was performed with dummies.

A prototype of the spacesuit the astronauts would wear has also been developed already.

Spaceflight history

So far, human spaceflight has been achieved only by the US, Russia and China.

Former Indian Air Force pilot Rakesh Sharma, who went up into space in a Russian mission in 1984, continues to remain the first and only In-dian in space till date.

With inputs from PTI.

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