The Indian government and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday said that Gaganyaan - the country's first manned mission into space - is on track and that two to three persons would be part of capsule which takes flight.
Efforts are being made to make the mission coincide with India's 75th year of independence in 2022 although ISRO has said it could also take place a year ahead. On Thursday, the government and ISRO said in a joint press conference that the entire expenditure on the prestigious mission would be Rs 10,000 crore. The mission involves a manned capsule being sent to outer space which would orbit Earth for a week. IAF had previously signed an agreement with ISRO for crew selection and training, and it is likely that a woman would be part of the team.
The programme had already been approved by the NDA government in its previous term - on December 28 of 2018.
Gaganyaan is being touted as a major turning point for India's space agency. "The initial training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training maybe in Russia," ISRO chief K Sivan had said in January of 2019.
The Gaganyaan National Advisory Council also held its first meeting just last week. In the meeting, progress made was assessed while various aspects of Gaganyaan were discussed. "Many essential aspects of Gaganyaan, especially the life support systems and crew selection and training, were discussed in detail. In the end, the council emphasised the urgent need for further accelerating the efforts to realise Gaganyaan in a very demanding time frame," ISRO had informed in a press release.