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.
The ambitious project was , 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.
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.