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Indian government grants Rs 95cr for manned space programme

An ISRO official shows a model of Chandrayaan to Air Marshal PP Rajkumar and P Madhusoodanan during the 48th Annual Conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine, in Bangalore on Monday. PTI Photo

BANGALORE (PTI): Buoyed by the success of the country’s maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-1, the Centre has approved Rs 95 crore to study all aspects of a manned space mission programme.

"A project to send a two-member crew on a week-long space journey was awaiting cabinet approval," K Radhakrishnan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said speaking at the inauguration of the three-day 48th Annual Conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine here.

"The space flight would have two-member crew on a low Earth orbit for seven days which will be brought back to Earth by landing the spacecraft in sea. The travel, which India hopes to achieve by 2015, would have the crew covering 275 km in the orbit and pass through the thermal atmosphere," he said.

Radhakrishnan said this would be the first step in human space flight programme planned by India. The country was looking at having manned lunar presence by 2020 and a mission to Mars by 2030, he said.

The scientist said there had been a renewed interest in moon mission, with the US, Russia, Japan and China planning to launch one each. The long-term objective of lunar mission was reaching the Mars where moon could act as a point for refuelling besides being explored for energy fuel supply, he said.

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