The Union cabinet on Friday (December 28) approved a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for India’s space mission Gaganyaan which aims to send three astronauts to space for a minimum of seven days, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced.
The Gaganyaan project was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech. He had said the mission will be undertaken by 2022.
India has already inked agreements with Russia and France for assistance in the ambitious project. This will be India’s first manned mission. When completed, Gaganyaan programme would make India the fourth nation to send a human to space after the United States, Russia and China.
Earlier, Dr K Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) had said that they intend to achieve the mission by 2022. ISRO hopes to deploy its biggest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), for the launch from Sriharikota in the upcoming years.
The space agency plans to undertake at least 50 satellite launches over the next three years. It has also embarked on Chandrayaan-2, its mission to land a rover on the Moon, which has been delayed by over a year.
India’s first and the only astronaut Rakesh Sharma visited outer space in 1984 on a Russian spacecraft.
Among other things discussed in the cabinet meeting, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given approval to list seven central public sector enterprises (CPSE) on the stock exchange through an initial public offering (IPO). CCEA has also approved hiking Minimum Support Price (MSP) for copra by more than Rs 2,000 per quintal for 2019 season.
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