After India successfully completed the unmanned Lunar Mission with Chandrayaana last year, ISRO chief has now announced that India will send a manned mission in space in next 6 years (by 2016).
If at all India does it successfully it will only be the 4th country to do so since Russia first successfully launched the manned space mission on April 12th, 1961. The other countries to successfully do so are America (1961) and China (2003).
Space scientists and senior officials of ISRO are preparing a pre-project report to build the infrastructure and facilities for the mission, estimated to cost a whopping Rs.124 billion ($2.76 billion). These funds will be allocated in 2 phases over next 6 years. [source]
Indian space prowess is steadily growing over last few years and it is something that we as Indians should be proud about. Last year, Chandrayaan-1 was the first to find large quantities of water on moon which was a significant boost for India in its space race against China.
One thing many people ask me – Why is India spending Millions of Dollars on space missions when half of the country is surviving below poverty line?
The answer is simple – the benefits and output of these space missions are in longer run going to prove beneficial to every citizen in every nook and corner of India. Space Missions can bring positive and beneficial changes to literally every sector – From Entertainment, Communication, travel to even Education field.
And then there are many indirect benefits as well, not to mention the bragging rights :)
Whats your opinion?