Indian Cabinet Approves Budget for First Human Space Mission

Capsule descending under parachute (Credit: ISRO)

The Indian government has approved the expenditure of RS 10,000 crore ($1.43 billion) to launch the nation’s first human space mission by 2022, according to media reports.

Plans call for the a three-member crew to spend seven days in Earth orbit after being launched by a GSLV Mk. III booster. The flight, currently set for December 2021, will be preceded by two flight tests without a crew, officials say.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a deadline to launch the mission within four years in an Independence Day speech in August.

India would become the fourth nation after the Soviet Union, United States and China to launch astronauts into orbit.