Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh has said that before the actual Gaganyaan mission, the country will send a non-human mission to space. India also plans to send a female robot in the first and second missions, respectively, preceding the Gaganyaan human space-flight programme by the end of 2023 or in 2024. “It is important to go and come back safely. It will land in water. It will ensure the security of the person,” he said.
The union minister unveiled the country’s ambitious space project’s timeline during a media interaction. He said that for the first time, an Indian-origin man will be going on an Indian mission. “Otherwise Rakesh Sharma had gone on a mission, but it was a Russian mission. It is an indigenous mission with indigenous astronaut, indigenous technical knowhow and indigenous funding. We should thank the PM for making funding available to this project. It was delayed due to COVID-19,” he said.
Singh said the department had thought Gaganyaan would be launched within 75 years of India’s independence, but it was delayed for two years due to COVID-19. “Some of the astronauts were being given training at a Russian institute. They had to come back. The two-stage training is now complete,” he added.
The union minister also laid down a plan for Lithium extraction in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. He said that India has started working in the green hydrogen sector.