S Somanath Sets ISRO’s Moon Landing Goal for 2040

In a recent address at the National Space Science Symposium in Goa, S Somanath, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), articulated an ambitious vision for India’s space exploration endeavors. This included plans for a manned mission to the moon by 2040.

Roadmap for Lunar Exploration

S Somanath emphasized the necessity of creating a comprehensive roadmap for conducting experiments in the zero-gravity environment of space. He highlighted that while planning for the Gaganyaan mission, five experiments had been shortlisted. However, he stressed the need for more substantial endeavors. These efforts, he stated, were imperative for India’s long-term goal of landing an Indian astronaut on the lunar surface by 2040.

Continuous Progress Toward Lunar Missions

The ISRO chief underscored that achieving a lunar landing would require a series of missions, rather than a single endeavor. He emphasized the need for continuous efforts to expand knowledge about the moon and develop the necessary technologies and capabilities. Somanath acknowledged that such missions would entail significant investments. He reiterated the importance of multiple missions to ensure the feasibility of a manned lunar mission from India.

Global Resurgence in Lunar Exploration

Somanath pointed out the resurgence of interest in lunar exploration worldwide. He cited initiatives by countries like the United States and China. Somanath emphasized the importance of understanding global efforts in this domain. He reiterated India’s commitment to becoming a key player in lunar exploration.

Long-term Vision for Space Exploration

The ISRO chairman outlined a long-term vision for space exploration. This included plans for the Bharatiya Antariksha Station, which aims to be operational by 2028. He stressed the significance of enhancing human access to space. He discussed plans for interplanetary missions. These include the Venus Orbiter Mission and the Mars Lander.

Chandrayaan 3 Mission and Beyond

Addressing the Chandrayaan 3 mission, Somanath revealed that lessons learned from past endeavors had informed corrective measures to ensure mission success. He also mentioned ongoing discussions about a lunar sample return mission. This mission would involve collecting samples from the lunar surface for scientific study on Earth.

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