In I-Day Speech, Prime Minister Modi Announces India’s First Human Spaceflight By 2022
Addressing the nation on the Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India will launch a crewed space mission by 2022 to mark 75 years of independence.
“Every Indian is proud of our scientists, who achieved success in entering the orbit of Mars in the first attempt and sent 118 satellites in one go. We are developing space technology. We have a dream that, by 2022, we will send an Indian space shuttle piloted by an Indian to space, and become the fourth country to put a human in space. By 2022, when India completes 75 years of independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolour in their hands.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, During His Independence Day Address To The Nation
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been preparing for a crewed mission for the past few years, although it had not been officially sanctioned by the government until now. Moving a step closer to human space flight in July, ISRO had successfully tested the crew escape system designed to quickly pull out the crew to a safe distance in case of a launch abort.
In June 2017, the organisation had tested GSLV Mark-III, India’s first launch vehicle capable of putting humans in space.
The vehicle, which uses India’s fully indigenous cryogenic engine, “is going to be at the frontier for ISRO. It can be used for human flight as well,” senior ISRO scientist and Mark-III project director G Ayyappan had said back then.
ISRO had also conducted demonstration of the atmospheric re-entry flight developed for the Human Spaceflight Programme. Demonstration was carried out successfully as part of the experimental flight in December 2014. It is currently developing technology to facilitate transfer of material between two vehicles in the space, called spacecraft docking and berthing in technical terms.