The government of India has approved a budget equivalent to 1,245 million euros for its first manned space mission, planned before 2022.
The ambitious Gaganyaan project of the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) was presented by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech to mark the 72nd anniversary of the independence of the country in mid-August.
ISRO's Gaganyaan project will help India become the fourth nation to independently send humans to space, local television channel NDTV reported on its website.
The plan is to send three astronauts to Earth for one week. To achieve this, he plans to use a reinforced version of its heavy rocket GSLV Mk III, used for satellites directed to the geostationary orbit.
The space agency hopes to launch the first mission in 40 months. The plans in the 'demonstration phase' they include undertaking two unmanned flights, before the one that takes the three astronauts, or viomnautas as they will be denominated in the Asian country ('viom' means space in Sanskrit).
India tested its re-entry technology through the 'Satellite Recovery Experiment' in 2007, when a 550-kilogram satellite was sent to orbit and then safely returned to Earth. The experiment proved that lightweight silicone tiles can protect any spacecraft when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.