India will send a manned mission into space by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his independence day address to the nation from the Red Fort in New Delhi.
“India will send into space — a man or a woman — by 2022, before that if possible,” Modi stated in this address.
India, if successful in this mission, will be the fourth country after Russia, the United States and China to launch its own manned space mission.
Stepping up its rivalry with China, India has invested heavily in its space programme in the past decade.
It is aiming to send an unmanned mission to the moon in January 2019, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced last week.
The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will aim to put a craft with a rover onto the moon’s surface to collect data. Design changes to the craft forced the space body to push the launch back from this year.
Chandrayaan-1, launched in 2008, orbited the moon and sent a probe to the surface which made a controlled crash landing.