In the next seven years, India is planning to have its own space station. The development was confirmed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Sivan said on Thursday, June 13.
The project, an extension of Gaganyaan mission, aims to send an Indian crew to space in August 2022.
Addressing reporters, Sivan said, "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."
Stating that India will not join the International Space Station (ISS), Sivan said the space station is going to be very small. "We will be launching a small module and that will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments," he added.
Sivan also said that the ISRO will join ISS for a manned mission to the moon and beyond. The ISRO chief said the proposed space station is likely to be 20 tonnes and serve as a facility where astronauts can stay for at least two to three weeks. It would be placed in an orbit 400 km above the earth. The time frame to execute the launch will be 5-7 years after Gaganyaan, according to Sivan.
On Wednesday, Sivan announced that Chandrayaan-2 will be launched on July 15, 2019. ISRO's second spacecraft to the moon - Chandrayaan-2 - will cost around Rs 1000 crore.
However, ISRO will launch another mission to the sun in the first half of 2020. This mission - Aditya-L1 - will be after Chandrayaan-2. Sivan, who is also the secretary of the Department of Space, said that in the next two to three years ISRO will launch another mission to Venus.