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India planning manned mission to the moon: ISRO chief news
31 January 2008

Washington: India is gearing up to send a manned mission to the moon in about seven to eight years. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief, G Madhavan Nair, also said that the central Government was fully "sensitised" about the ambitious venture.
"We have sensitised the government on manned space flights. In seven to eight years we will be able to carry a crew to orbit and back," Nair said. He also said that a report outlining these plans has been submitted to the higher authorities, and no big hurdles were foreseen for the project.

Nair said that the fund allocation for the entire manned space mission has been pegged at around $2.5 billion.

Nair was speaking yesterday at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. He is currently in the US for talks with American space officials.

Nair also said that space exploration will play a major role in ISRO's future plans, with his agency currently mulling "what next" lay in store. In this regard he said, "...perhaps not only orbiting around the moon, but landing on the moon and trying to put some rovers."

Nair said he had also conveyed this strong interest for a manned mission to the moon to other space agencies in the course of his interactions with them.

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India planning manned mission to the moon: ISRO chief