Union of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh on December 9 revealed that India's inaugural human space mission "Gaganyaan" is all set to be launched in 2023.
In response to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Singh stated that with this launch, the country will become only the fourth country on this planet to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after the US, Russia and China.
A Major Step For ISRO
"Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of second half of 2022," Jitendra Singh was quoted as saying by an ANI report.
The minister also revealed that this will be then followed up by the second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying "Vyommitra" - a spacefaring human-robot engineered by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2018 Independence Day speech, where he had claimed that an Indian astronaut will embark on a space odyssey by 2022 onboard 'Gaganyaan', Singh stated that the program got delayed slightly amid the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Speaking about what the Gaganyaan programme is all about, Singh said that the initiative is to showcase the capability to send human beings to low earth orbit (LEO) onboard on Indian Launch Vehicle and bring them safely back to earth.
Furthermore, over 500 Industries are currently involved in the launch of Gaganyaan with several research modules, which also includes the indigenous health research module as well.
For the first time in 70 years, the Union Minister said that this was made possible as the sector has been opened for all private participation to make the country a competitive Space market.
For the above-mentioned Gaganyaan programme, the training facility for astronauts is also getting established in Bengaluru and is currently in an advanced stage of completion. Basic flying practises and Aeromedical training was completed.
Meanwhile, the design part of all systems of Gaganyaan has already been completed as well.