New Delhi, Aug 15: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing from the ramparts of Red Fort that India would send a manned mission to space by 2022, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s chairman K Sivan on Wednesday said the work on the project is underway and that many new technologies are being developed to achieve it.
An Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board 'Gaganyaan', Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day address today.
"The Prime Minister has given target of 2022 and it's our duty to meet it. We are already on the job and we have completed many technologies like crew module and escape systems. The project has been underway, now we need to prioritise and achieve the target," Sivan told ANI.
India can potentially be the fourth country to send a man to space, after erstwhile USSR, the US, and China. Denmark also has a manned space flight scheduled for 2022.
In 2007, India tested its first re-entry technology where a 550 kg satellite was sent into the orbit and brought back to earth safely in 12 days. This shows India's capability in heat-resistant materials that are essential for re-entry technology.
"We need to enhance technology to achieve this, deadline looks tough but we certainly have the capability to do it. A big rocket and astronaut training are two main challenges," Tushar Jadhav, a Scientist with the Pratham Satellite team told news agency ANI.
Chandrayaan-1 was India's first lunar probe. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008 and operated until August 2009.
The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, is a space probe orbiting Mars since September 24, 2014.