India to launch its first manned space mission by 2022

The country's space agency plans to send a crew of three on a mission within 40 months.

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"A son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands" by 2022, the country's prime minister announced Wednesday.


India plans to send manned mission to space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday.

The mission will see the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) send a crew of three into a low earth orbit for five to seven days, NDTV reports.

"India has always advanced in space science but we have decided that by 2022 when India completes 75 years of Independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands," Modi said during a celebration of India's 72nd Independence Day.

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The ISRO plans to spend 90 billion rupees ($1.28 billion), with a "demonstration phase" that includes undertaking two unmanned flights ahead of the crewed mission. It'll use an Indian-made Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, which was first launched in June 2017 to put an internet satellite into orbit, The Next Web notes. The launch will take place at Sriharikota, which is located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The country will call its astronauts "Vyomnauts" -- "Vyom" means space in in Sanskrit, according to NDTV.

The ISRO didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this year, the Indian space agency made a the record by launching 104 satellites into orbit at the same time using only one rocket, our sister site ZDNet reported.

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