NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India aims to send an astronaut to the moon by 2040, the government said on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued instructions to the space department that include plans for a space station by 2035.
India’s space ambitions got a boost when it became the first country to land a spacecraft near the unexplored south pole of the moon in August, just days after a similar Russian mission failed, and the fourth overall to achieve a soft landing.
After that success, India launched a rocket to study the sun and is scheduled conduct a test later this week as part of its crewed space mission.
“Prime minister directed that India should now aim for new and ambitious goals, including setting up ‘Bharatiya Antariksha Station’ (Indian Space Station) by 2035 and sending first Indian to the moon by 2040,” the government said in a statement.
“To realize this vision, the Department of Space will develop a roadmap for moon exploration,” it added.
Modi has also called on scientists to work on missions to Venus and Mars.
(Reporting by Shivam Patel; editing by Robert Birsel)