India’s ambitious first manned space mission, Gaganyaan, that will send 3 Indian astronauts into space, is likely to have a woman on board. Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan, while talking to a media house suggested that 1 among the 3 astronauts could be a woman as the women candidates would be actively considered for the mission. Though he refrained to divulge other details saying the selection process is yet to start, Sivan cited PM Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, to highlight that PM had mentioned son and daughter while announcing the space flight.
Gaganyaan will send 3 Indian astronauts into space for 5 to 7 days and the spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit of 300-400 km from the earth’s surface. As for the date of the mission, PM Modi has vowed to put an Indian in space by 2022, that is before India’s 75th Independence Day.
Gaganyaan would be one of the most cost-effective ventures of its kind, with the overall cost pegged at Rs Rs 10,000 crore. Apart from this, the ambitious project is expected to provide employment to at least 13,000 people in the industry.
According to a report on the Indian Express, 60 women have so far made it to space out of a total of 550 astronauts, including Indian origin born Kalpana Chawla who died in the ill-fated Columbia space mission in 2003.