India’s ‘Gaganyaan’ mission is likely to be launched by the end of 2022 or early 2023, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday. The mission, originally scheduled for a launch by 2022, was delayed due to coronavirus pandemic. It aims to launch a manned mission in the Lower Earth Orbit.
The minister said this while addressing a webinar on ‘Future of India-Oceania Space Technology Partnerships’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). He also highlighted the importance of private players in the sector. Talking about the Gaganyaan mission, the union minister said that the government had planned the launch around the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence but COVID caused an inevitable delay. He further said that the government will most likely be able to launch this mission by the end of next year. The minister also said that space technology has a role to play in every sector, and brainstorming exercises with space scientists and government officials during the 2015-16 period helped them understand the usage of space technology in every sector. Space technology has come very handy in the area of disaster management, the minister said, adding that space medicine is also deeply connected in the endeavour to send three Indians to space. “Space technology has a role to play, virtually, in every sector,” he asserted.