India to launch first manned space mission by 2022, says Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi at the Red Fort

India also launched an orbiter to Mars in 2013 which is still operational and in 2017 launched a record 104 satellites in one blast-off.

The chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) confirmed the timeline and said the pilots and crew, often called vyomanauts - after vyom, the Sanskrit word for space - would spend at least seven days in space. PM Modi said India's status in the world had increased significantly since 2014 when a BJP-led NDA came to power "because we have an acumen to take bold decisions" and that has helped the country become world's sixth largest economy. "By 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence, India will send a son or daughter to the space with the national flag in hand".

Asked about the first animal flight before the actual manned mission, Mr Sivan said those things have to be discussed.

In his radio address "Mann Ki Baat" before last Independence Day, Modi said he had received letters from people complaining that his Independence Day speeches were "a little too long" and promised to make a shorter speech.

In 2009 India terminated the mission a year earlier than planned, after scientists lost all contact with their unmanned orbiting spacecraft. "Our idea is to develop everything within India", he added. The launch will take place at Sriharikota, which is located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

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"We are in the process of developing the life support system for the astronaut, space suit and other things".

The ISRO Chairman had then said that the space agency was "not close" to a human spaceflight yet. "The project has been under way; now we need to prioritise and achieve the target".

K. Sivan said ISRO has to set up necessary infrastructural facilities like the control centres for the proposed manned mission.

He said PM Modi's announcement was a big kickstart and as a whole the nation " s science and technology sector would benefit.

He said India will become the fourth country after Russian Federation, the United States and China to achieve the feat and its astronaut could be a man or a woman.

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