Indian scientists favour manned space mission
Bangalore, Nov. 7 (PTI): Top scientists and technologists here today strongly favoured a proposal to undertake a manned mission into space that would catapult India into a select group of nations with such a capability.
At a national consultative meeting convened by the Indian Space Research Organisation to "crystallise and converge" on the issue, participants "overwhelmingly and very positively" supported the proposal, ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair told PTI.
ISRO is in a position to undertake the manned mission in eight years. Nair said the estimated cost of such a mission would be in the region of Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore.
Nair made a presentation to a gathering of 80 scientists and technologists, including those from ISRO, HAL and NAL and those associated with space technologies, and detailed studies conducted by the organisation in this context.
"All of them were supportive of the idea," Nair said. "There was absolute unanimity on the issue. Everyone feels it's a logical step."
Among those who participated in the meet were U R Rao, Roddam Narasimha and Yash Pal. Some others, who could not attend, including M G K Menon, sent written comments, he said.
Some key questions at the interaction centred around the safety of personnel making the flight, ISRO sources said, adding the space agency will respond to these queries.
Nair, also Space Commission Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space, said ISRO will submit a report on the deliberations to the government by the year-end.
He had made a presentation last month on the space department to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who suggested a national team of scientists look into the manned mission issue. Today's meeting was a result of suggestion.
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