(This article is originally posted by the India Today)
The second unmanned mission of Gaganyaan has been planned in 2022-23, followed by human spaceflight module, the government said on Wednesday.
“First unmanned mission is planned in December 2021. Second unmanned flight is planned in 2022-23, followed by human spaceflight demonstration,” Union minister Jitendra Singh, in his written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, said.
Jitendra Singh’s response also hinted at delay in the last and crucial manned spaceflight.
Singh also said the astronaut training at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), Russia was halted for a period for nearly a month and a half last year.
“As per COVID 19 protocols in Russia and health advisories issued by local authorities, the astronaut training in Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC), Russia was halted for a period from 28th March, 2020 to 11th May, 2020. As per the revised COVID 19 protocols the training of Indian astronauts has henceforth resumed since 12th May, 2020,” Singh said.
The Gaganyaan mission was initially envisaged to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022 when India completes 75 years of Independence.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the launch of the first unmanned mission of Gaganyaan is slated for December 2021. The mission was originally scheduled for launch in December 2020 but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In her budget speech, Sitharaman said as part of Gaganyaan, India’s manned space mission, four Indian astronauts are being trained on generic space flight aspects in Russia.
“The first unmanned launch is slated for December 2021,” Sitharaman said.