ISRO eyes manned moon mission by 2015


Sriharikota, India : Buoyed by the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1, Indian Space Research Organisation today said it would gear up for the complex and challenging task of the proposed manned mission to the moon by 2015.

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“Now we have a little bit of breathing time (after today’s launch)… We are looking how we can design a capsule, which can carry two astronauts onboard a GSLV rocket,” ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair said at a post-launch press meet here.

“This is a very complex and challenging task… First of all to conceive a module, which can predict the condition of human life in space. It is a big challenge in terms of technology and realisation,” he said.

Besides, selecting the astronauts and training them for the space flight and improving the reliability of the launching system were also complex issues, he said.

“After considering all these, we have prepared a project report and this had been cleared by the Space Commission and is awaiting the government approval. Based on this, we will have the first man mission from Indian soil before 2015,” Nair said.

On exploring Mars, Nair said the red planet was the next natural destination for ISRO. “We are looking for proposals from the scientific community. As soon it is available we will try to finalise and plan a mission to the Mars.” “GSLV can take a reasonably sized space craft to mars. Technical capability as well as mission planning has just started,” he added.

Describing today’s Chandrayaan-1 launch as “really a historic moment for ISRO”, Nair said the agency had opened up a new chapter in the history of Indian space programme as well the global community.