First manned mission to space in December 2021: ISRO chief
Bengaluru (Karnataka) , Jan 11 : India is targeting to send its first manned mission to space in December 2021, which will be preceded by two unmanned missions.
"We are planning to have the first unmanned mission in December 2020 and second for July 2021. Once we complete this, the manned mission will happen in December 2021. The entire team is geared up to achieve this target," Sivan said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi said before August 15, 2022, Gaganyaan should happen, but we are saying December 2021," Sivan said.
He added that the ISRO is planning to launch 32 space missions for the year 2020, out of which, 14 are slated to be launch vehicle missions.
Sivan described the Rs 10,000 crore 'Gaganyaan' mission as a major turning point for the space agency.
"With Gaganyaan, a major expansion of ISRO is taking place. This is because in Gaganyaan our payload is too much because we have to train a human and take him to space and bring him back. This is a major expansion because it's not only launching a human into space but a space station. The human program is a major turning point," Sivan told media here.
"To carry this out, we have worked out a new management structure. I am happy to declare to you that a major sender for human space programme, a new centre has been launched and it will take care of all things related to the programme. For this new centre, we have named Unnikrishnan Nair as the director. We have put everything in place. Gaganyaan has the highest priority for 2019," he added.
The initial training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training might happen in Russia, Sivan said, adding, "Women astronauts will be there on the team. That's our aim".
A GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a three-member crew for the duration of the mission.
"Crew members for Gaganyaan will be from India. We are not distinguishing. Certainly, Air Force will be there," Sivan said.
"We will set up six incubation and research centres across the country. We will bring the Indian students to ISRO. Why do the Indian students need to go to NASA?" Sivan added.