A live coverage shows Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s Aditya-L1 mission payloads blasting off from a launch pad aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL rocket, at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM) in Kolkata, India, 02 September 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/PIYAL ADHIKARY

India sets new space exploration goals with first manned lunar mission by 2040

New Delhi, Oct 17 (EFE).- India on Tuesday announced its new space exploration objectives, which include the launch of its first manned lunar mission by 2040 and the establishment of the first Indian space station by 2035.

The ambitious endeavors would also encompass missions to nearby planets like Venus and Mars, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Building on the success of the Indian space initiatives, including the recent Chandrayan-3 and Aditya L1 Missions, Prime Minister directed that India should now aim for new and ambitious goals, including setting up ‘Bharatiya Antariksha Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035 and sending the first Indian to the Moon by 2040,” the statement added.

The prime minister also urged Indian scientists to work on interplanetary missions, including sending an orbiter to Venus and a lander to Mars.

Chairing a high-level meeting of the Department of Space, Modi also assessed the progress of the Indian manned space mission, Gaganyaan, which will conduct its first demonstration flight of the Crew Escape System Test Vehicle on Oct. 21.

The Gaganyaan mission aims to launch a three-member crew into orbit at an altitude of 400 km for a three-day mission in 2024, followed by their safe return to Earth.

To realize its vision of new space missions, the Indian Department of Space will develop a comprehensive roadmap that includes a series of projects, as per the statement.

“This will encompass a series of Chandrayaan missions, the development of a Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV), construction of a new launch pad, setting up human-centric Laboratories and associated technologies,” the statement read.

India’s plans for the new space missions come nearly two months after the nation achieved a historic milestone by landing a probe on the Moon’s south pole as part of the Chandrayaan-3 mission.

The achievement made India the fourth nation to soft-land a mission on the lunar surface and the first to explore its southernmost region.

Shortly after the successful lunar mission, India launched its first solar mission, Aditya-L1, which aims to study the Sun and will take four months to reach its destination, approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. EFE