(Image credit: ISRO, Succesful test of crew escape system on July 05, 2018)
Narendra Modi chose the 72nd independence day of India to announce that Indian Astronauts are going to space in 2022.
Just 5 years separate the announcement made in New Delhi on Wednesday, August 15 2018, on India’s 72nd independence day, by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, in the presence of exhilarated ISRO employees, and the momentous launch.
The brand new 12.5 ton crew module will launch from Sriharikotha on an Indian rocket, the GSLVMk III. Two demonstration missions will precede the launch of three astronauts on a first 5 to 7 day mission who will also be wearing Indian space suits.
Remember this word for quizzes, “Vyomonauts”. It is the name ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organisation, proposes to use for its indigenous astronauts. Vyom means ‘space’ in Sanskrit.
The world will now have Astronauts (USA), Kosmonauts (Russia), Taikonauts (China), and Vyomonauts (Indian subcontinent).
What about Europe?
As Europeans we can only deplore the lack of inspired effort by the ESA intergovernmental agency and national governments.
At this speed, Africa, and maybe Australia, will have their own vehicle before we ever do.
In the absence of their initiative, it is time to give the European commercial space market a chance to design and build a crew vehicle.
Start thinking about an appropriate name for European astronauts.