The Bold Voice of J&K

India to launch Gaganyaan mission by end of 2023 or 2024: Jitendra Singh

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JAMMU: India plans to launch an unmanned mission and send a female robot in the first and second missions, respectively, preceding the Gaganyaan human space-flight programme by the end of 2023 or in 2024, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.

He unveiled the country’s ambitious space project’s timeline during a media interaction.

“The first mission will be totally unmanned and after that we will send a female robot in the second one,” he added.

Singh provided insights into the Gaganyaan project’s progress.

“The main Gaganyaan will be launched at the end of 2023 or in 2024. It will be delayed a bit”, Singh told reporters after a function here.

Singh said that before the actual Gaganyaan mission, “we will send a non-human mission”. “It is important to go and come back safely. It will land in water. It will ensure the security of the person”, he said.

He said that for the first time, an Indian-origin man will be going on an Indian mission. “Otherwise Rakesh Sharma had gone on a mission but it was a Russian mission. It is an indigenous mission with indigenous astronaut, indigenous technical knowhow and indigenous funding. We should thank the PM for making funding available to this project. It was delayed due to COVID-19 “, he said.

Singh said the department had thought Gaganyaan would be launched within 75 years of India’s independence “but it was delayed for two years due to Covid”. “Some of the astronauts were being given training at a Russian institute. They had to come back. The two-stage training is now complete,” he added.

As the nation’s space agency gears up for these significant milestones, the world eagerly awaits India’s progress in space exploration and the historic moment when Gaganyaan will carry Indian astronauts to the final frontier, he said.

He also laid down a plan for Lithium extraction in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district.

“It is a matter of excitement for us. Let’s see how it evolves in future. Lithium will be very important to our focus on clean energy in future as a cost effective source. A meeting is going on in which apart from top scientists, the CSIR director is taking part. She is an expert in the lithium sector herself”, he said.

The Union minister said that “first we will see the value of it after exploration and then further steps will be taken”. “It will go into a phased manner. It depends upon the future results. However, we have started this process”, he said.

He said India has started working in the green hydrogen sector. “The Prime Minister had talked about a green hydrogen mission from ramparts of the red fort. In the next 25 years, we might be exporting green hydrogen from here,” Singh said.

To a question on Pakistan, the BJP leader said, “What Pakistan is doing is nothing new. It has been going on since 1947. Pakistan could not digest that Jammu and Kashmir is part of India. Those who are in power have the compulsion to rake up Kashmir (issue)”.

He said that under the leadership of PM Modi, “India has risen to such a top place in the world, the so-called developed nations are seeing us with respect”.

“Our economy has surpassed Britain’s. In terms of startup ecosystem, we are Number 3. It is also a fact that the G20 is being held here under the leadership of Modi ji which shows that our status has risen”, he added. (PTI)

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