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Human spaceflight prog is at beginning stage: ISRO

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A file photo.

BANGALORE (PTI): Indian human space flight programme is at the "beginning stage" and space scientists were studying the critical technologies required for the project, ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said on Wednesday.

"As far as human space flight is concerned, we are just at the beginning- at the moment we are studying the critical technologies required for that like- crew escape system, crew module... these are the things we have not done in the past," Radhakrishnan said.

Speaking to reporters in the presence of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forest that reviewed ISRO programmes here, he said, "As and when we take up a programme of human space flight- this will help us."

Illustrating the requirements for the human space flight, he said "we need a reliable launch vehicle with a reliability of 0.99, today we can say GSLV has gone well- but we need to improve the reliability of that."

"We also need to have a capacity for taking crew module with two or three crew members and the required space for them; so we have the choice of GSLV or GSLV Mark III- that is the decision we need to take."

Stating that certainly space robotics and human presence in space together are going to be the requirements for the future, Radhakrishnan said "at a right moment -that decision- the country will have to take."

"What we are doing at the moment is getting ready for critical technology and government has given us funds nearly Rs 145 crore."

He said "in the GSLV Mark III- the experimental mission is going to happen in April 2014...."

Speaking to reporters after the review, Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman T Subbarami Reddy commended the recent achievements of ISRO for the successful launch of Mars Orbit Mission and GSLV-D5 with indigenous cryogenic engine.

Stating that adequate funds are being allocated for the scientific sector in the country, he said "we must focus more towards developing good scientists."

He said young people should be encouraged towards science and scientists should be given special salaries, special incentives, and special encouragements. His committee is recommending the same, Reddy added.

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