HELSINKI — India has revised target dates for launches of its human spaceflight missions and the Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing following COVID-19-related delays.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was targeting August 2022 for the launch to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. However the first human spaceflight demonstration will now follow after a second uncrewed test flight now planned for 2022-23, chairman K Sivan has said.
ISRO is targeting a first uncrewed test flight in December this year. The mission will involve human-rated Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III rocket with a modified upper stage compatible with a crew module and crew escape system, according to Times of India.
The first uncrewed mission was initially planned to launch in December 2020, following the formal announcement of the Gaganyaan project in August 2018. India had late last year stated that the Gaganyaan project will be “slightly delayed” due to COVID-19.
The first crewed mission will carry three astronauts with one backup. Four pilots selected for the program are participating in astronaut training in Russia.
India is aiming to join Russia, the United States and China as the only countries to have achieved independent human spaceflight capabilities. The country is ...