India's maiden manned space mission 'Gaganyaan' is set for December 2021 launch and is likely to include a woman astronaut, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan said.
Gearing up for the mission, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ISRO has set up a new centre to facilitate the manned voyage involving a three-member crew, he said.
"We have put everything in place. 'Gaganyaan' has highest priority for 2019. We are planning to have first unmanned mission in December 2020 and second for July 2021. Once we complete this the manned mission will happen in December 2021. The entire team is geared up to achieve this target," Sivan said.
The Union Cabinet gave its nod for the Rs 9,023 crore programme recently, he said, briefing reporters about the achievements of the city-headquartered ISRO in the previous year and the future programmes.
In his Independence Day address last year, Modi had announced that the mission would be undertaken by 2022 using ISRO's own capabilities.
"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," he had said in his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
(with news agency inputs)