Gaganyaan, India’s first human space flight likely to have woman on board
New Delhi, Jan 10: Gaganyaan, India's first human space flight that will be launched in 2021, will, most likely, have at least one woman astronaut on board. The space agency has planned to send a three-member team into space for up to a week.
"We, of course, would like to have women also to be there (on the space flight). You would remember our Prime Minister had mentioned son or daughter while announcing the human space flight. It would be very good if a woman is part of the first flight. But these things are still to be discussed and finalised. The selection process (for choosing the astronauts) has not started yet," Sivan told Indian Express.
"There are many criteria to be fulfilled (for selection of astronauts). The Air Force, which will provide the candidates, would be part of the entire process. The selection process is long and maybe it is still a bit early to talk about these things with finality," he told the newspaper.
The ISRO chief ruled out any ISRO scientist boarding the first spacecraft. When initial talks of such missions began,ISRO and the Air Force had fought over who would get to fly.
Out of hundreds of astronauts venturing into space, only 60 have been women, including India-born Kalpana Chawla who died in the Columbia accident in 2003. This one small leap into space can really be a big step for womankind.
The ambitious human spaceflight initiative Gaganyaan will India into a select league of nations along with the USA, Russia and China.
The ISRO will strive to put a woman in the first flight itself as per PM Modi's wishes. New Delhi is competing with other international players for a greater share of the satellite market, and is known for its low-cost space programme.