New Delhi: ISRO chief K Sivan on Thursday announced India’s decision to set up a space station of its own. This ambitious project of the Indian Space Research Organisation will let more humans to space once it is executed, he added.

Sivan reportedly said, “We are planning to have a separate space station. We will not be a part of … (ISS). Our space station is going to be very small. We will be launching a small module and that will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments.”

After the second Moon Mission or Chandrayaan Mission 2, ISRO is scheduled to launch another mission to the Sun by launching Aditya-L1 in the first half of 2020, said Sivan. Moreover, another interplanetary mission to Venus will be launched in the next 2-3 years, added the Secretary of Department of Space, Sivan.

Notably, India will not join the International Space Station (ISS). Elucidating on the space station project, Sivan said the mission will also be an extension of the Gaganyaan project.

“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme. So, subsequently, as a long-term plan, we are planning to have the space station in India. We are going to join the international community in manned missions to moon, asteroids. We have a clear plan for the space programme,” Sivan said.

By planning a space station, the ISRO is “not thinking of space tourism”, he said. Sivan said the proposal will be sent to the government for approval after the first Gaganyaan mission by 2022 and it is looking at 5-7 years time frame for execution of the programme. He did not elaborate on the cost of the proposed Indian space station.

On the Gaganyaan project, Sivan said the government has formed a National Advisory Council comprising top Indian honchos of players from the space industry, former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Ashutosh Sharma, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister K VijayRaghvan, Defence Research Development Organisation Chairman G Sateesh Reddy.

Elaborating on Aditya L1 mission, Sivan said the mission will study the corona of the Sun, which is the outermost part of its atmosphere.
“It is 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth. It will always look at the Sun and give analysis of corona because it has a major impact on climate change,” he said.

On the ISRO’s mission to Venus, he said the planet is a “burning body with very high temperature”.
“Most missions have failed. We want to succeed and study atmospheric composition of the planet,” he said, planning that they have set a target of 2-3 years to launch the mission.

France is also collaborating with India on its mission to Venus.

(With agency inputs)