The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, S Somanath, announced that the selected astronauts for India's inaugural human space flight program, Gaganyaan, are geared up and awaiting the scheduled flight set for the 2025 mission.
The Gaganyaan initiative aims to propel four astronauts into space for a three-day mission in 2025, ensuring their safe return to Earth. Somanath emphasized ISRO's relentless efforts, operating ceaselessly to advance technology for this groundbreaking endeavor, following the historic landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the Moon's south pole in August.
"We've identified the first team of four astronauts for this mission, striving to launch them by 2025 and ensure their safe return. The safe return of our astronauts is a pivotal aspect of this mission," stated Somanath while addressing graduates at the 11th convocation of Pandit Deendayal Energy University (PDEU). He underscored the necessity for substantial technological developments to actualize this mission, highlighting ISRO's tireless endeavors towards this objective.
He highlighted the fresh development and successful implementation of numerous technologies in recent years, expressing optimism for future missions without human presence culminating in an Indian astronaut's launch. Stressing the astronauts' readiness for the impending flight, he labeled this mission as one of utmost significance for ISRO's ambitions.
Furthermore, Somanath discussed ISRO's aspirations to construct a space station, crucial for scientific advancement, technological progress, and facilitating various industries to operate in diverse domains. He encouraged the younger generation to dream big and emphasized the pivotal role of young minds in achieving these aspirations.
Highlighting India's recent achievement of a soft landing on the Moon, Somanath praised the country's prowess in space technology, achieving remarkable feats despite modest investments. He emphasized the burgeoning potential in India's space sector, with industries now involved in satellite and spacecraft manufacturing, creating promising prospects for upcoming generations.
Somanath reflected on ISRO's triumphs in 2023, particularly overcoming setbacks with the successful missions of Chandrayaan-3, GSLV, and the small satellite launch vehicle. He stressed India's newfound confidence in executing high-technology projects and expressed optimism in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of establishing a national space station by 2035 and landing on the Moon by 2040.