India will put man in space for seven days: ISRO Chairman

Christopher Davidson
August 16, 2018

"There will be two unmanned space missions before the actual manned space mission", Sivan added.

"We are in the process of developing the life support system for the astronaut, space suit and other things". "We have tested the necessary critical technologies required for the Human Space Flight Programme (HSP) and are confident of achieving it as stated by the Prime Minister", he said.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had proposed India's human space flight programme - Vyom - almost a decade ago.

PM Modi said when India celebrates 75th year of Independence in 2022, "and if possible even before, an Indian son or daughter" will be part of a manned space mission on board "Gaganyaan" "carrying the national flag".

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The chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) confirmed the timeline and said the pilots and crew, often called vyomanauts - after vyom, the Sanskrit word for space - would spend at least seven days in space.

Life support system and conditioning of astronauts for the space environment is one of the key technological challenges, said Nair. "The project has been underway, now we need to prioritise and achieve the target", Sivan told ANI. It's the same launch station that was used for the GSLV MK III's June 2017 mission, as well as for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle's mission to deliver a record-breaking 104 satellites into orbit last February. If successful, India would be the fourth nation to achieve the feat after the US, Russia and China.

Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to venture into space, going aboard a Soviet rocket in 1984. India-born Kalpana Chawla and Indian-origin Sunita Williams are among the known names to have gone to space. The country's second lunar probe Chandrayaan-2 is scheduled to be launched by January 2019 and will attempt a soft landing of a rover near the moon's south pole.

K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman under whose leadership the Mangalyaan mission was launched in 2013, termed the announcement of Gaganyaan mission a "turning point" for ISRO. The astronauts will also be conducting experiments in space, details of which are yet to be decided by ISRO.

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