Training of four Indian astronauts in Russia has now been resumed: Minister
GN Bureau | June 30, 2020
The launch of India’s first human space mission, ‘Gaganyaan’, will not be affected by Covid-19 and preparations are going on in the right direction even amid the pandemic.
This was disclosed by minister of state (independent charge) development of north eastern region (DoNER), MoS PMO, personnel, public grievances, pensions, atomic energy and space, Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday.
Briefing the media about the salient achievements of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the department of space over the last one year and some of the important missions planned for the future, Dr Singh said that though the training of four Indian astronauts in Russia had to be halted because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the opinion of ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan and his scientific team is that there had been a “cushion” both in the training programme and launch deadline. The training of astronauts has now been resumed and the launch is scheduled to take place as planned, before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022, he said.
Elaborating on the cabinet decision to encourage private participation in ISRO activities, Dr Singh said a regulatory body called ‘Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Centre’ (IN-SPACe) will be established. This will help provide a level playing field to private players and encourage their participation, he said.
The minister said that besides enhancing the capacity and resources of Indian space missions, increased participation of private players will also discourage the brain drain of talented space scientists and experts who were otherwise moving out of India in search of a break.
About the lunar mission Chandrayaan-3, he said, as of today, it is planned for launch next year. This mission will involve a lander, rover and a propulsion system to carry the modules to move but it would not have orbiter as the previous orbiter is fully operational, he added.
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