An Indian on the Moon?

It was Jeff Foust who first alerted me to this news story via Twitter.

Indian report claims ISRO and Indian defense ministry have signed an MOU to study a human lunar mission:

— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 27, 2013

 He himself seemed surprised by this report as were space enthusiasts like me. As he says..

That report is interesting as India has deprioritized human spaceflight in recent years; even robotic Moon missions lower priority vs Mars.

— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 27, 2013

We just don’t have all the components in place to attempt human spaceflight yet – most notably, a human rated launch vehicle. Work has been on-going on the Crew Module which is likely to be first tested on a test-flight of the GSLV Mk-III according to a recent op-ed written by ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan in the Deccan Chronicle. The article goes on to state that this vehicle will commence demonstration flights in 2016.

Today, ISRO has refuted the claims made by their colleagues in the Armed Forces Medical Wing. The Armed Forces Medical Wing officials seemed to provide very detailed and descriptive answers on what they had on hand and what they hoped to do with the data.

It seems that 2014 will be an interesting year. Srinivas Laxman (a friend) wrote this for the Times of India. The story essentially says that even if the Air Force is ready, ISRO just isn’t. It will be interesting to see this story play out and see if ISRO gets a shot in the arm for its human space flight programme as a result of this tussle. This makes the flight of the GSLV-D5 this Sunday even more important, as a stepping stone to success.

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