ISRO's first unmanned space mission slated for launch in December 2021: FM Sitharaman
The Gaganyaan mission worth Rs 10,000 crore aims to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022 when India completes 75 years of independence.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her budget speech on February 1, 2021 that ISRO's first unmanned space mission as a part of Gaganyaan is slated for launch in December 2021.
The unmanned mission was originally scheduled for launch in December 2020 but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Finance Minister informed that four Indian astronauts are being trained in Russia on generic space flight aspects for the main Gaganyaan mission, India's first manned space mission.
•The Gaganyaan mission aims to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days by 2022, the same year when India will complete 75 years of independence. The mission is worth Rs 10,000 crore.
•The ISRO had started planning for the mission accordingly. The first unmanned mission as a part of Gaganyaan was planned in December 2020, the second unmanned mission in June 2021.
•The final and the main component, the manned mission of Gaganyaan, was scheduled six months later in December 2021.
•However, the first unmanned mission got delayed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, which caused disruptions to the space agency's working.
• Other major projects that were affected by the coronavirus pandemic include Gaganyaan and Chandrayaan-3, the third mission to the moon.
Many of ISRO's staff members were infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic and only essential and process-related work was going on. Other related industries also got affected due to the coronavirus lockdown.