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13 Jun, 2019 15:43

India sets sights on its own space station around 2030

India sets sights on its own space station around 2030

Not content with just sending astronauts into the cosmos, India is also planning an ambitious project to develop and launch its own space station, the head of its space agency has announced.

Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told reporters on Thursday that the effort will be an extension of its Gaganyaan mission, which aims to blast New Delhi’s first ever astronauts into orbit by August 2022.

“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan program after the launch of the human space mission, Sivan said.

In this context, India is planning to have its own space station.

A detailed plan for the station will be submitted to the administration of prime minister Narendra Modi. It is expected that, following the Gaganyaan mission, the proposed installation will be put into orbit around 2030.

Once launched, the 20-ton (20,000 Kg) space station is set to facilitate microgravity experiments, while astronauts would be able to stay on board for up to 15 to 20 days.

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To support the manned space mission, India has created the Gaganyaan National Advisory Council, a cross-party body of institutes and industry tasked with ensuring the success of the mission. The ISRO has also begun its search for the first cadre of astronauts and is looking to recruit a crew of two or three from among pilots in the Indian Air Force.

Final preparations are also being made ahead of the ISRO’s launch of its Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft, which aims to land on the Moon in July. If successful, India will join the US, the USSR and China, in the select pantheon of nations that have completed a successful lunar landing.

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