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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
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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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NASA Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

NASA began operations on Oct. 1, 1958

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NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. VOA

NASA chiefs going back 30 years have come together to mark the space agency’s 60th anniversary.

Five former NASA administrators joined current boss Jim Bridenstine in Orlando on Monday. It was the largest gathering ever of NASA heads and included every administrator since 1989. The conference was arranged by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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NASA’s Opporutnity Rover. Flickr

The longest-serving administrator, Daniel Goldin of the 1990s, told Bridenstine there’s more to the company than human spaceflight and that the science and technology programs can help draw more public support.

Richard Truly of the post-Challenger shuttle era agreed, but noted humans need to explore.

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It was the largest gathering ever of NASA heads. Pixabay

Bridenstine, meanwhile, ran down NASA’s latest plans for sending astronauts back to the moon.

Also Read: Private Space Firm SpaceX Will Soon Send Its First Private Passenger To Moon

Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin was present for the panel discussion.

The Company  began operations on Oct. 1, 1958. (VOA)