India plans to have its own space station, said ISRO chief K Sivan (Representational photo)
In one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by India, the country is planning to launch its own space station, Indian space agency ISRO chief K Sivan said today. India is targeting 2030 as the date to launch a 20 tonne space station, which will most likely be used to conduct microgravity experiments. ISRO says there will be no collaboration with any other country in this project.
The project will be an extension of the Gangayaan mission, which aims to send an Indian crew to space sometime in 2022.
"We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of (the) human space mission. In this context, India is planning to have its own space station," Mr Sivan told reporters in New Delhi.
Details of the space station project will emerge after the maiden manned mission, Gaganyaan, is complete. The government has already cleared a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for the Gaganyaan mission. There would be two flights from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota without the crew before the maiden flight with crew.
Currently, ISRO's focus is on India's second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, that will take off on July 15, and will attempt to land near the South Pole of the Moon, an uncharted territory so far. Chandrayaan-2 is an advanced version of the previous Chandrayaan-1 mission, which was launched about 10 years ago.
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting crewmembers, designed to remain in space for an extended period of time and for other spacecraft to dock. Currently, there is only one fully functioning space station in Earth's orbit, the International Space Station.
The International Space Station is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998, and first long-term residents arrived in November 2000. It is the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.
With inputs from agencies