October 23, 2021

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India’s human spaceflight plans coming together despite delays

3 min read

So far, sending humans into space has been limited to the space programs of only three countries: the U.S., Russia (inheriting that of the former Soviet Union), and, joining them in the 21st century, China. But a fourth is poised to follow: the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), India’s space exploration agency.

ISRO isn’t afraid to dream big. The agency’s head, K. Sivan, has talked about space stations and moonwalks. ISRO hopes that the long arc toward those goals can begin with its first program of crewed missions, Gaganyaan (derived from Sanskrit, meaning “sky-vehicle”). But Gaganyaan’s timetable remains murky — largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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