Manned mission in 7 years: ISRO

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Sriharikota, Apr 28 (UNI) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming for a 'manned mission' in seven years and join the leaders in this aspect of space mission.

India is expected to join countries like the United States, China and Russia in the mission, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair revealed here today.

Holding a news conference after text-book launch of CARTOSAT-2, India's first mini satellite IMS-1 and eight other satellites from abroad, Mr Nair said, ''India, having achieved leadership in space technology, cannot be left behind in manned missions.

''Space becomes the next fronter for ISRO also. A manned mission is essential,'' he said.

Apart from the US, Russia and China, who have the resources for this and Europe and Japan were also expected to join in this aspect, Mr Nair said, adding the GSLV had the power to put a crew of two in space.

He said the Indian Government would soon give the go ahead for the manned mission.

''In seven years, we must have a manned flight after three unmanned flights,'' Mr Nair said.

The government had already given Rs 95 crore in initiating the mission activity. ''A small core team is already working on it and in six months we should get full approval from the Centre,'' he added.

Mr Nair, however, said before embarking on the manned mission, ISRO would have to work on key factors like increasing the safety aspect of the mission, the safe come back of the crew and work on an escape module.

''We need highly reliable ground facility also to back the progress of the mission,'' he said.

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