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ISRO’s First Manned Space Mission to Cost $1.4 Billion

Earlier this month, NASA unveiled its analysis of data collected from lunar orbit by an Indian spacecraft.

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Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, left, and Junior Indian Minister for Department of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh address a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

India (ISRO) said on Tuesday it expected to spend less than 100 billion rupees ($1.43 billion) on its first manned space mission to be launched by 2022, suggesting it is likely to be cheaper than similar projects by the United States and China.

India is cultivating a reputation as a low-cost space power, after the 2014 launch of an unmanned Mars mission at a cost of $74 million, or less than the budget of the Hollywood space blockbuster Gravity and a fraction of the $671 million the U.S. space agency NASA spent on its MAVEN Mars mission.

The Indian manned mission, announced this month by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to be led by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will aim to send a three-member crew to space for five to seven days in a craft that will be placed in a low Earth orbit of 300-400 km, the Department of Space said in a statement.

 

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Private agencies will also participate in the mission. Flickr commons

 

“ISRO has developed some critical technologies like re-entry mission capability, crew escape system, crew module configuration, thermal protection system, deceleration and floatation system, sub-systems of life support system etc required for this program,” the statement said.

ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said the agency had “perfected the engineering aspects of the mission,” although it was new to the field of bioscience — dealing with living beings.

Private agencies will also participate in the mission, and ISRO might consider collaborations with space agencies from “friendly countries with advanced space programs,” the statement added.

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ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons

India’s neighbor and old rival China first sent humans to space in 2003, becoming only the third country to have such capability after Russia and the United States.

China’s Shenzhou program is secretively run through military and government agencies and its budget is not public. In 2003, officials said it had cost 18 billion yuan ($2.62 billion).

India’s space program has a total budget of around $4 billion, and Modi’s government hopes recent satellite launches — many on behalf of foreign governments — would improve its prospects of winning a larger share of the more than $300 billion global space industry.

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India: Manned Space Mission to Cost $1.4 Billion

Also Read: India’s Government Hosts First Ever CSR Awards

Earlier this month, NASA unveiled its analysis of data collected from lunar orbit by an Indian spacecraft. The findings marked the first time scientists confirmed by direct observation the presence of water on the moon’s surface — in hundreds of patches of ice deposited in the darkest and coldest reaches of its polar regions. (VOA)

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Flipkart Revamps its Seller Onboarding Process to Help MSMEs: Report

These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes

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Flipkart on Monday announced it has revamped its seller onboarding process to ease the first-time e-commerce experience for medium and small businesses (MSMEs).

The e-tailer has also stationed 13 regional teams across the country to help onboard sellers in person, by meeting with them at their premises.

These changes to the onboarding process will make it easier for small sellers, who may not have prior digital expertise, to list their products on the platform and access Flipkart’s pan-India base of over 150 million customers.

“By revamping our onboarding process and simplifying the number of steps, we are making it easier for any seller, no matter the size, to list on our platform and get started from day one,” said Nishant Gupta, Head of Flipkart’s Marketplace business.

Flipkart Buys Back Shares Worth $350 mn.
New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. 

Currently, e-commerce accounts for less than three per cent of India’s overall retail industry. Government estimates suggest there are roughly 60 million MSMEs in India, many of whom are restricted to their local markets due to difficulties in accessing resources.

Flipkart has also added regional teams in various Tier II and beyond cities to help sellers sign onto the platform.

Also Read: Redmi Teases First 64MP Smartphone with Camera Sample

These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes.

“As a home-grown company, we know that the future of e-commerce lies in bringing more MSMEs and smaller businesses online which, in turn, will generate employment and investment, and will meaningfully contribute toward the country’s socio-economic development,” added Gupta. (IANS)