India’s space program is surging ahead with ambitious goals, including sending an astronaut to the Moon by 2040 and establishing a space station by 2035. These ambitious directives were set forth by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting on Tuesday, marking a significant leap forward for the country’s space exploration efforts.
India’s journey into space exploration has gained significant momentum in recent years. Earlier this year, the country made history with its Chandrayaan 3 mission, achieving a soft landing near the lunar south pole. The successful landing of the Vikram lander, carrying the Pragyan rover, demonstrated India’s remarkable technological capabilities.
Another notable milestone was the launch of India’s first space-based solar mission, Aditya L1, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Positioned approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, this mission marks India’s entry into space-based observatory-class solar missions. Over the next four years, Aditya L1 will focus on studying the outer atmosphere of the Sun, contributing to our understanding of this celestial body.
ISRO is also actively working on the Gaganyaan project, which aims to send a human crew to an orbit of 400 kilometers and safely bring them back to Indian waters. A key test in the mission is scheduled to take place soon, followed by a test flight carrying a robot into outer space. The final manned mission is set to occur before the end of 2024, marking a significant step toward realizing India’s aspirations in human spaceflight.
During the meeting, PM Modi directed the Department of Space to set its sights on establishing the ‘Bharatiya Antariksha Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035. This visionary goal highlights India’s intent to become a significant player in the realm of space exploration. Modi has also called on scientists to work on missions to Venus and Mars.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi set the bold target of sending the first Indian astronaut to the Moon by the year 2040. This directive underlines India’s determination to join the exclusive club of nations capable of landing humans on the lunar surface. While the United States remains the only country to have successfully landed humans on the Moon, India’s determined efforts are poised to make a significant mark in lunar exploration in the coming decades.
In this meeting, the Department of Space presented a comprehensive overview of the Gaganyaan Mission, detailing the development of crucial technologies such as human-rated launch vehicles and system qualification. Approximately 20 significant tests are planned, including three uncrewed missions of the Human Rated Launch Vehicle (HLVM3). The first demonstration flight of the Crew Escape System Test Vehicle is scheduled for October 21. All indicators suggest that the Gaganyaan Mission remains on track for a launch in 2025.
India’s growing presence in space exploration is characterized by remarkable achievements and the pursuit of ambitious goals. With the recent directives from Prime Minister Modi, the nation is taking bold strides toward becoming a prominent player in space research and missions, with its sights firmly set on the Moon and beyond.