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India to launch female robot astronaut 'Vyommitra' ahead of manned mission

Dr. Jitendra Singh highlighted India's space sector growth, projecting the space economy to reach $40 billion by 2040. He credited PM Modi's reforms for the surge in startups, exceeding 190, with over Rs. 1,000 crore private investment since April.

Nitin Kumar Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Published on: December 14, 2023 7:20 IST
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO India's female robot astronaut 'Vyommitra' and the Minister of Science & Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Minister of Science & Technology, announced on Wednesday that India is set to launch Vyommitra, a female robot astronaut, into space as part of the ambitious Gaganyaan project. Speaking at the Aaj Tak Agenda, Dr. Singh revealed that ahead of the manned mission, a test flight with Vyommitra is scheduled for next year. The Gaganyaan project aims to showcase India's capability in human spaceflight. Additionally, Dr. Singh highlighted the upcoming Deep Sea Mission project, expected to be realised within three years, emphasising India's prowess in both outer space exploration and deep-sea resource exploration.

Addressing the growth in India's space sector, Dr. Singh projected that the nation's space economy, currently valued at $8 billion, is set to reach $40 billion by 2040. This aligns with international observers' optimistic projections, including the Arthur D. Little (ADL) Report estimating a potential of $100 billion. The minister attributed the surge in space startups—190 in number—to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reforms, noting the substantial private investment, exceeding Rs. 1,000 crore since April of this financial year.

Highlighting Isro's contributions, Dr. Singh pointed out its role in generating foreign revenue through satellite launches, launching over 430 foreign satellites to date. He underlined India's cost-effectiveness in space missions, referencing the Chandrayaan-3 mission's success in discovering water molecules on the moon's surface at a fraction of the cost compared to other missions.

Dr. Singh emphasized that space technology in India goes beyond exploration, touching everyday lives in sectors like disaster management, infrastructure development, agriculture, telemedicine, and robotic surgery. Recognizing gender inclusivity, he acknowledged the leadership roles women hold in major space projects, exemplified by their contributions to the Aditya L1 Mission and Chandrayaan-3.

Also read | ISRO's video shows how Aditya-L1 SUIT captured Sun in space | WATCH


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