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India wants a space station by 2035, moon mission by 2040
File image of Gaganyaan, India's first manned space module down in development.
India wants a space station by 2035, moon mission by 2040
by Patrick Hilsman
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 17, 2023

The Indian government wants an Indian space station by the year 2035 and a crewed Indian mission to land on the moon by 2040.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office announced the goals after a meeting to update the prime minister on the progress of India's Gaganyaan program, which intends to pave the way for independent crewed Indian missions into space.

"It was noted that around 20 major tests, including three uncrewed missions of the Human Rated Launch Vehicle (HLVM3) are planned," the prime minister's office said in a press release Tuesday.

In August, India's Chandryaan-3 lunar mission successfully set down on the moon.

In September, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, which will study solar magnetic storms emanating from the sun, successfully departed.

"The Department of Space presented a comprehensive overview of the Gaganyaan Mission, including various technologies developed so far such as human-rated launch vehicles and system qualification," the prime minister's office said.

The Indian Space Research Organization is testing the Gaganyaan capsule and hopes to fly crewed missions in the next few years.

"The Department of Space will develop for moon exploration. This will encompass a series of Chandrayaan missions, the development of the Next Generation Lauch Vehicle (NGLV)," the prime minister's office said.

India's first astronaut, Rakesh Sharma, spent time aboard the Soviet Salyut 7 space station in 1984.

Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman to travel to space in 1997, when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. In 2003, Chawla was killed when the Columbia disintegrated while reentering the atmosphere.

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