India is progressing in its space missions by leaps and bounds. And now, the Indian Space Research Organisation has announced what can be easily called its most ambitious project ever—India’s very own International Space Station. This is indeed a huge mission, considering only US, China, Russia, and a coalition of nations have their own space stations.
Merely a day after announcing the launch of Chandrayaan 2, ISRO chief K. Sivan has announced that India will have a 20-tonne space station up and ready by 2030. This space station, Sivan said to the media, would be an extension of the Gaganyaan mission.
“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of (the) human space mission. In this context, India is planning to have its own space station.”
NDTV reports that the space station is slated to be small, placed in an orbit of 400 kms above earth, and one that can house astronauts from the Gaganyaan mission for 15-20 days. The module would be used to conduct microgravity experiments. Further details will be worked out after the first manned mission for Gaganyaan is completed. India will not be collaborating with any other country on this project.
Gaganyaan’s maiden mission is scheduled for December 2020. The Minister of State for Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh confirmed that the mission was on track and the Union Cabinet had approved a budged of ₹10,000 crore for the same.
Once Ganganyaan is completed, ISRO will be submitting a detailed report to the government. For now, ISRO is focused on Chandrayaan 2, which will kick off on July 15, aiming to land near the South Pole of the Moon.