US Interested In Forming Working Group With India For 'Gaganyaan' Project: Former NASA Chief

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The US is interested in forming a working group with  India for its human space mission programme, former NASA administrator Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden Jr. said on Friday. 

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Updated On:

The US is interested in forming a working group with India for its human space mission programme, former NASA administrator said on Friday. 

Bolden, the US science envoy for space, said the two countries share a robust relationship in the area of space and have formed working groups to further cooperation in the arena.

Responding to a question at an interaction at the Observer Research Foundation on whether the two sides were also collaborating for the human space project, Bolden said, "I think, (ISRO Chairman) Dr (K) Sivan is communicating with (NASA) administrator (Jim) Bridenstine. He would like to propose that they form another working group singularly on human space programme." 

He said over the last few years, the US had been nudging India to get into the human space project, but "they weren't just ready at that time".

Bolden said now that India has taken a decision in this regard, ISRO has been engaging with multiple players to collaborate on the mission.

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India plans to send three astronauts to space by 2022 through mission 'Gaganyaan'.

The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had on December 28 last year approved indigenous human spaceflight initiative, Gaganyaan Program. Under the program, a three-member crew will spend a minimum of seven days in space. The total fund includes the cost of technology development, flight hardware realisation and essential infrastructure elements. Two unmanned flights and one manned flight will be undertaken as part of Gaganyaan Program.

A human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will be used to carry the orbital module which will have necessary provisions for sustaining a three-member crew for the duration of the mission.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan had said, "We are planning to have the first unmanned mission in December 2020 and second for July 2021. Once we complete this, the manned mission will happen in December 2021. The entire team is geared up to achieve this target. The total number of missions planned for next year is 32. Out of this, 14 are launch vehicle mission"

"Women astronauts will be there on the team. That's our aim," he shared.

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