Chethan Kumar | TNN | Dec 28, 2018, 16:51 IST
  • Union Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days: Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • The ambitious project was first announced by PM Modi on August 15, as part of his independence speech
BENGALURU: The Union Cabinet on Friday approved Rs 10,000 crore budget for the proposed human spaceflight mission (Gaganyaan), which envisages to send 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," Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced at a press conference today.

Addressing a press conference after successfully launching ISRO's earth observation satellite HysIS and 30 other co-passengers into their designated orbits, Sivan, however, said the space agency may have to take outside help for some tests. HysIS means Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite

The ambitious project was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 , as part of his independence speech from the ramparts of Red Fort and the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has since upped the ante for its implementation.

As TOI had reported earlier, Isro has kick-started the process of selecting experiments that could be performed in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), where it will send Indian astronauts (Gaganauts). 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. Also, we will be getting specific experiments in these areas from various institutions across India,” one Isro official said. Isro has also officially announced opportunities for LEO-based microgravity experiments. “As Isro is planning a human spaceflight mission, it seeks input from 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.

The ambit of the cooperation includes giving ISRO access to space hospital facilities in France and combining the expertise of the two agencies in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems, the president of the French space agency Jean-Yves Le Gall said.

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.

The process for astronaut selection is yet to kick off. And, for this Isro will work with the Indian Air Force (IAF), whose agency—Institute of Aerospace Medicine—will be responsible for selecting the astronauts.
In Video: Gaganyaan 2022: ISRO gets green signal for India’s first manned mission in space
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