India to send astronauts to space by December 2021: ISRO chief

New Delhi, Jan 11: India's target for sending astronauts to space is December 2021, the chief of ISRO said today.The ambitious Gaganyaan project by the space agency will help India become the fourth nation to independently send humans to space."The initial training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training maybe in Russia. Women astronauts will be there on the team. That's our aim," Indian Space Research Organisation chairman chief K Sivan said.

Last month, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had announced that three Indian astronauts will be sent to space for up to seven days by 2022 as part of Gaganyaan. The cabinet has cleared of Rs. 10,000 crore for the programme.Sivan on Friday also announced that the launch of India's second Moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, has been planned for the middle of April this year.   ISRO had earlier said Chandrayaan-2 will be launched in a window between January-February 16 this year. The mission, costing nearly Rs 800 crore, is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission about 10 years ago. "Regarding Chandrayaan-2 schedule, right now Chandrayaan is scheduled from March 25 to April end.  Most probably, the normal targeted date is April middle," Sivan told reporters here. He said the space agency had earlier planned to launch the spacecraft sometime between January and February but it could not materialise because certain tests could not be conducted."Once we missed the February target, next available target is April. Right now it is planned for April," the ISRO chief added.

With Agencies