India may send a manned mission to space.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the possibility at a meeting here on Tuesday with chairmen of the Space Commission and the Atomic Energy Commission.
An official statement on Wednesday said he reviewed India's space and atomic energy programmes with the scientists. The possibility of the Department of Space developing a manned space programme was discussed.
President APJ Abdul Kalam also has been discussing this possibility with scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation as part of what he has called the “second vision for space before 2030”. Kalam has said that he foresaw Manned Missions to the Moon and Mars as part of this second Space Vision. The first Vision – from 1970 to 2005 – has ensured the country’s capability in all aspects of space in application, spacecrafts, launch vehicles and launch complex.
India already has plans to launch a spacecraft in a polar orbit around the moon from Sriharikota in early 2008 under the Chandrayaan I (moon craft) Mission at an estimated cost of Rs 386 crore. Incidentally, ISRO had last year announced that study groups were evaluating the technological requirements for putting an Indian into space by 2015. The groups are studying how to build a "man-rated vehicle" that will put an Indian into space, and providing him the habitation and environment to stay there.
Other plans of the department of space including upcoming launch missions, a profile of missions proposed up to 2013, the project for developing a regional navigational system as well as futuristic plans covering air-breathing propulsion systems, heavy lift launches and advanced communication technologies came up for review.
The presentation on nuclear power focused on the scenario for its development, on the cost effectiveness and environmental sustainability of nuclear power, on the three stage nuclear programme and the approach of the Department of Atomic Energy.