Tirunelveli: India's first crewed orbital spacecraft, the Gaganyaan is planned to be launched on December 2021, said Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Inaugurating the technical facility created at Palayamkottai here on Saturday to download data from the earth observation satellites of ISRO, Sivan added that the human spaceflight programme that commenced in 2006 has been progressing well to be launched before August 2022 as per the direction of the Prime Minister. The launch schedule however will be much earlier than December 2021, said the ISRO chairman. The 3.7-tonne spacecraft designed to carry 3 astronauts orbiting the earth at 400 km altitude for seven days, successfully had its first un-crewed experimental flight on December 18, 2014 and the Pad Abort test on July 5, 2018.
The ISRO chief added that the Chandrayan-II mission has been scheduled to be launched by the launch vehicle, GSLV MK III on July 15 this year.