Manned mission to Moon before 2015: Nair

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Sriharikota, Oct 22 (UNI) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning its first manned mission from Indian soil before 2015, its Chief G Madhavan Nair said today.

Talking to mediapersons after the successful launch of Chandrayan-I, India's maiden mission for Lunar exploration, he said ''we are playing it low for some time on manned mission.

''We have some breathing space now for this. We are looking how we can design a capsule which can carry two human beings on board a GSLV vehicle. This is a very complex and challenging task,'' he said.

''First of all we have to conceive a module which can predict the condition of human life in space. It is a big challenge in terms of technology and realization.

''It will be purely an indigenous effort. However, ISRO is not averse to having payloads from foreign scientific community as well.'' ''Selecting the astronauts, training them for the space flight and improving the reliability of the launch system, all this is complex technology before us,'' Mr Nair said, and added that after considering all these the ISRO had prepared a project report, which was cleared by the Space Commission.The report was awaiting government's approval.

''We will have the first manned mission from the Indian soil before 2015.The project cost would be around Rs 12,000 crore.'' Mr Nair also announced that the foundation stone for the third launch pad, from where the manned mission was likely to take place, would be laid before the end of this year.

UNI GV GM AKJ SB KN1749

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