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Future space mission to focus on resource exploitation: Sharma

BANGALORE (PTI): First Indian in space, Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma, has expressed apprehensions that space missions in future will focus more on exploitation of resources than on research.

"Hitherto, space activity was all about research and exploitation. Henceforth, space programmes will be focused on exploitation of resources that may be available on the moon and beyond," Sharma said delivering the "Subroto Mukherjee Memorial Oration" titled "Space Travel- Where do we go from here?"

In the event of long duration hauls becoming a regular, in future, there would be new challenges that would crop up and would be required to be addressed, said, India's space man who invoked unforgettable memories of the country's first manned space venture of April 1984.

Speaking at the Golden Jubilee Conference of Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ISAM) on Friday, Sharma raised questions over the earth's ability to sustain human life in future going by its shrinking resources.

"We need to have a redundancy plan, have a backup for human race," he said.

He opined that there could be a need to parallely commence programmes aimed at colonisation of moon and deep space exploration with long duration flights to Mars and beyond.

"For this we should set up a lunar outpost," he added.

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