Union Minister of State for the Ministry of Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh has said that the preparations for Gaganyaan, India’s maiden human space mission, are complete and humans of Indian origin will go to space next year.

The Minister announced that the trials of the mission scheduled to take place in 2023 will be conducted by the end of this year.

“Next year one or two human beings of Indian origin will go to space. The preparations for our Gaganyaan have been done. Before that, two trials will be conducted by the end of this year. The first trial will be empty and in the second a female robot (astronaut) will be sent whose name is Vyommitra,” Singh said during a press conference on Sunday.

“On the basis of these two missions, our astronauts will go in the third mission,” he added.

Notably, in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha in December 2021, the Union Minister had said with this launch, India will become the fourth nation in the world to launch a Human Spaceflight Mission after USA, Russia and China.

“The major missions viz., Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1) are scheduled during the beginning of second half of 2022. This will be followed by the second uncrewed mission at the end of 2022 carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human-robot developed by ISRO and finally the first crewed Gaganyaanmission in 2023,” he had added.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address in 2018, wherein he said that an Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 onboard ‘Gaganyaan’, Singh had said that the program got slightly delayed due to COVID restrictions, but preparations are now in full swing to achieve the mission by 2023.

He said that the objective of the Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to low earth orbit (LEO) onboard on Indian Launch Vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.

Singh had said that more than 500 Industries are involved in the launch of Gaganyaan with several research modules including the indigenous health research module.

The Minister informed that this is the most ambitious space programme undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) till date and it will give a big boost to the Science and Technology development within the country, besides inspiring the Youth and Start-ups to take up bigger challenges and enhance the prestige of the country. (ANI)