New Delhi: India's space research programme gets a significant 40 per cent boost from the union budget for 2009-10 presented by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee this Monday.
The total funds allocation for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for 2009-10 is Rs4,959 crore ($1.01 billion), up from Rs3,499 crore, which is an increase of around 41 per cent.
According to an ISRO spokesperson, the bulk of the funds will be used in ongoing projects like development of the Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III, which will launch four-tonne communication satellites.
Funds will also be utilised for work on existing Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) and GSLVs.
Significantly, the space agency has been allocated Rs230 crore for work on its manned space mission. This is a near three-fold increase over the Rs95 crore it had received last fiscal for the same head.
ISRO estimates the manned mission will cost Rs12,000 crore.
A sum of Rs155 crore has also been allocated for development of a semi-cryogenic engine that will use liquid oxygen as oxidiser and highly purified kerosene to fire rockets. According to ISRO sources, funds will also be deployed to build necessary infrastructure at the liquid propulsion test facility at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.