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Fact Check: UPA had approved ISRO’s plan of sending a manned mission into space in 2009

By Newsd
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Fact Check: UPA had approved ISRO's plan of sending a manned mission into space in 2009
Image Credit: Associated Press (AP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ‘Mission Gaganyaan’ in his fourth and last speech of this term during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort. He vowed to unfurl the Indian flag in space by 2022. The mission to send a man into space is named, ‘Mission Gaganyaan’. Although this Rs 12,400 crore manned space mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was scheduled to be launched by 2015.

The then Planning Commission, now called Niti Aayog had approved ISRO’s manned space flight project in February 2009. The project was supposed to be launched in two phases. For the first phase, the plan was to launch an unmanned flight in 2013-14 while for the second phase ‘a two-man mission’ was proposed. Another proposal suggested a manned mission to the moon by 2020.

“We had a good meeting. The general inference is that ISRO has done an expert job and it needs to be supported. The Planning Commission will support it,” former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had said after a two-hour meeting with ISRO scientists.

Also Read: India to hoist tri-colour in space by 2022, says PM Modi in Independence Day speech

Indian space scientist and former Space Commission member and Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre K Radhakrishnan had said that the Rs 12,400 crore will be spent in setting up long-term facilities and inputs needed for the space vehicle and its entire get-up.

“We intend to put two persons in the vehicle and launch them into space for seven days in an orbit of 275 km. Although ISRO would lead the organization to carry out the mission but there are chances of other agencies’ participation also,” explained Radhakrishnan in 2009 after the meeting with the Planning Commission’s Ahluwalia.

“India is proud of our scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In the year 2022 or if possible before, India will unfurl the tricolour in space,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August.