PM Modi sets ambitious goals for ISRO: Space station by 2035, Indian on moon by 2040

Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Buoyed by the success of the Chandrayaan mission, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday set ambitious goals for ISRO, asking them to set up an Indian Space Station by 2035 and send the first Indian to the moon by 2040.

Modi's directions came during a briefing by ISRO Chairman S Somanath on the progress of the Gaganyaan mission, which is to have its first demonstration flight of the crew escape system on October 21, and other initiatives.

India's first human space flight is now expected to take off in 2025, a PMO statement said after the meeting.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister outlined the future of India's space exploration endeavours and urged scientists to work towards interplanetary missions, including a Venus Orbiter Mission and a Mars Lander and also explore the moon in greater detail.

"Building on the success of Indian space initiatives, including the recent Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya L1 missions, the Prime Minister directed that India should now aim for new and ambitious goals, including setting up the 'Bharatiya Antariksha Station' (Indian space station) by 2035 and sending first Indian to the Moon by 2040," the statement said.

To realise this vision, the Department of Space will develop a roadmap for Moon exploration, it said.
ISRO's moon exploration plans will comprise a series of Chandrayaan missions, developing a new rocket the Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV), building a new launchpad and setting up human-centric Laboratories and associated technologies.

The Department of Space presented a comprehensive overview of the Gaganyaan Mission, including various technologies developed so far such as human-rated launch vehicles and system qualification.
It was noted that around 20 major tests, including three uncrewed missions of the Human Rated Launch Vehicle (HLVM3) are planned.

Prime Minister Modi expressed confidence in India's capabilities and affirmed the nation's commitment to scaling new heights in space exploration.

The Gaganyaan mission, which entails sending two astronauts to low earth orbit, was originally planned for launch in 2022. However, the Covid pandemic and the complexity of the mission led to delays and the first human space flight was expected to take place in the second half of 2024.

From Tuesday's meeting, it has emerged that the Gaganyaan launch will now take place in 2025.
Besides Somanath, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra and other officials were present during the meeting.

The meeting chaired by the Prime Minister came after India's successful soft landing near the unexplored south pole of the moon on August 23. Within 10 days of the lunar landing on September 2, India launched a spacecraft to study the Sun from a place called the Lagrange Point (L1), situated about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth.

The Aditya L-1 mission will study the solar atmosphere, solar magnetic storms, and their impact on the environment around the Earth.

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