India’s space agency ISRO today said that four astronauts have been identified for India’s upcoming Gaganyaan mission. ISRO chief K Sivan told reporters in Bengaluru that the training of astronauts will begin in the third week of January. Gaganyaan is a manned spacecraft, intended to send astronauts into space for at least seven days by 2022 as part of the Indian manned spacecraft program. Last year, ISRO said that it wanted women astronauts to be a part of the mission. K Sivan said today that several systems of Gaganyaan need to be tested and crew training will be a major activity this year.
K Sivan said that India’s next lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, was approved. He said that the launch could happen next year. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said yesterday that India will launch Chandrayaan-3 in 2020. Chandrayaan-2, the ongoing Chandra mission has been largely successful – but Vikram Lander failed to land on the moon in September. NASA recently published images of debris at the accident site with the help of Chennai Techri. K Sivan congratulated the young man Shanmuga Subramaniam, and said that it was ISRO’s policy not to release the picture of the crashed module.
He said, we know that it crashed and where it is located. Sivan also stated that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter was still working, adding that it would continue to provide data for seven years. Like the Chandrayaan-2 mission, the Chandrayaan-3 will have a lander, a rover and a propulsion module. K Sivan said that the cost of the project would be Rs 250 crore. The ISRO chief also announced that land acquisition for a second spaceport in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu – measuring 2,300 acres – was initiated.