The Indian space program was a big part of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s address on 15 August 2018. The IRNSS navigation constellation, the Mangalyaan mission and the reliable satellite launches were all celebrated over the course of his speech. Then, the prime minister went on to make a blockbuster announcement. The address was given in Hindi, but the English rendering is, “We have resolved that by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence or maybe even before that, certainly some of our young boys and girls will unfurl the Tricolour in space. With Mangalyaan our scientists have proved their capabilities. I feel proud to announce that very soon as a part of our Manned-Space mission, we shall be sending an Indian into space.” On 28 August, in a press conference about issues related to the Department of Space, ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan provided more details about the ambitious mission, including the name of the mission, “Gaganyaan”. Dr Sivan made it a point to note that as far as ISRO was concerned, that this was a “human mission”, and the crew could consist of either men or women. Just a few days later, at the 6th Bengaluru Space Expo, the star attraction of the show was a crew module and an indigenously developed “flightsuit” for the astronauts.
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