Modi says will send an Indian to space by 2022; Isro 'on track already'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from Red Fort on 72nd Independence Day
India would send a human in space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Wednesday. If India achieves the said target, it will become only the fourth country in the world to send a human to space.

"India is proud of its scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In the year 2022 or before if possible, India will unfurl the Tricolour in space," Modi said during his final Independence Day speech in his current term in office.

According to K VijayRaghavan, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, Isro is already well on track to do this. He said the technologies being used and developed will benefit India and its science-ecosystem in multiple ways.

"Science and Technology is the fulcrum for the levers of government to effect social and economic change. For this, scientists and society must connect closely. Build stronger foundations in education, fundamental research, applications in agri, health, environment, and energy etc," VijayRaghavan said.

In a bid to fulfil its dream of the manned mission, Isro is gearing up for the second demonstration test of the reusable launch vehicle (RLV) next year. 

Isro conducted the first demonstration test of India's winged body aerospace vehicle on May 23, 2016.

However, this time, the RLV will be tested on an airstrip and not on the sea. The RLV technology is just one but significant part of India's space mission.

The third experiment will include testing the RLV from the orbit. The vehicle will be integrated into a new rocket, which will take it up to the orbit. There, the vehicle will get detached and re-enter the earth's atmosphere and land, an Isro official said.