India to have own space station by 2035, country will go to Moon again, says PM Modi

Prime Minister says Gaganyaan astronaut-designates are not just four names or four individuals but four ‘Shaktiyaan’

February 27, 2024 04:45 pm | Updated February 28, 2024 12:12 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks at a crew simulator during his visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on February 27, 2024.  Photo: PIB via Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks at a crew simulator during his visit to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on February 27, 2024. Photo: PIB via Reuters

After the the names of the astronauts of the Gaganyaan mission were announced in Thiruvananthapuram on February 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will have its own space station by 2035.

Addressing ISRO scientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here, Mr. Modi said India will once again go to the Moon and bring back samples from the lunar surface.

ISRO also has Venus on its radar, the Prime Minister said. An Indian astronaut will land on the moon using Indian spacecraft during ‘Amrit Kaal,’ he added, referring to plans for a crewed lunar mission by 2040.

The four astronaut-designates of the Gaganyaan programme whose names were revealed on Tuesday are not merely four names or four individuals, “they are four ‘Shaktiyaan’ (powers) who carry the aspirations of 140 crore Indians into space,” Mr. Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that an Indian is about to go to space after a gap of 40 years, in an apparent reference to Rakesh Sharma’s 1984 space flight aboard USSR’s Soyuz T-11.

“But this time, the time is ours, the countdown is ours and the rocket also is ours,” Mr. Modi said.

Standing ovation

Mr. Modi began his speech by calling for a standing ovation for the astronaut-designates. He added that he was delighted to have been able to introduce them to the nation.

He wished them the best and described it as a special and defining moment that marks a nation’s progress. It is an occasion for India when the present generation can take pride in the nation’s historic achievements on land, air, water and space. “The nation’s wishes and blessings are with you,” he said.

The Prime Minister also commended the ISRO staff associated with the Gaganyaan project.

The Prime Minister requested the public and the media to cooperate with the astronaut-designates and their families so that they continue their training without distractions.

The Prime Minister, who reviewed the progress on the Gaganyaan Mission during his visit, pointed out that most of the equipment for the mission is made in India. Gaganyaan is set to take India’s space sector to new heights at a time when India is preparing to become one of the top three global economies, he said.

India’s space economy will grow five-fold and touch 44 billion U.S. dollars in the next decade, he said.

Mr. Modi said India is poised to become a global commercial hub in the field of space. The new space reforms will add fresh impetus to the sector, he added.

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