On Friday, ISRO chairman K Sivan set December 2021 as India deadline for sending astronauts into space. Addressing a press conference, Sivan said Rs 30,000 crore had been approved for the organisation activities of which Rs 10,000 crore has been allotted for the Chandrayaan 2 programme, which is to be launched by mid-April.

Talking about Gaganyaan, Sivan said ISRO wanted women astronauts to be a part of the programme but asserted that it all depended on the selection process. “The project will be a turning point for ISRO. This mission will expand our activities. The inital training for Gaganyaan will be done in India and advanced training maybe in Russia. Women astronauts will be there on the team. That's our aim", he said.

The chairman said ISRO was planning to launch its smallest satellite launcher vehicle in July. He informed that it will require only 72 hours and cost only 30 crore with a payload of 500 kg and six people required to launch the vehicle.

He added that the organisation had created a science centre in J&K and many incubation centres, adding that a navigation system for fishermen had also been prepared. "We will set up six incubation and research centres across the country. We will bring the Indian students to ISRO. Why do the Indian students need to go to NASA?" he said.

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