Former ISRO chief G Madhavan Nair today said India should seek support from United States of America or Russia to successfully send a manned mission into space by 2022. It would take India a long time to set up its own astronaut training and space-environment simulation facilities, the veteran space scientist opined.
Terming the manned mission as the next logical step for India’s space programme, Nair praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mentioning the mission during in his Independence Day speech.
“We have been dreaming about this (manned mission) for the last 10 years. Now the Prime Minister has taken a very bold decision. It is a matter of national pride. We will have our own spacecraft to send people to the orbit and back. So, it’s a great initiative and a most welcome thing,” he told PTI.
“The basic design for the space capsule is for carrying three people. GSLV-Mk III has got a capacity to carry such a module,” Nair said.
“Of course, we have to do a lot of things — training of astronauts, use and make life support systems among many others. All this is new development, and it’s a very challenging job,” he added.
“We may have to depend on some friendly countries like Russia and America for the initial mission”, he said.
“Life support system and conditioning of astronauts for the space environment is one of the key technological challenges,” Nair said.
The overall reliability of the launch vehicle needs to be improved.
“Necessary improvement in launch systems and satellite technologies is called for,” he said.
Asked about the 2022 time frame for the mission as announced by the prime minister, Nair said: “It’s tight but if you decouple the setting up of facilities in India, certainly it’s doable. If we get support from other countries certainly it will happen.”