India has announced it's ready to launch its first human space flight in 2024 almost a year after making yet another attempt to land a rover on the surface of the moon

The planned launches of the Gaganyaan series of rockets will be counted as a success of the country’s Make-In-India campaign designed to cut dependence on forbidden technology and foreign hardware.

"Although our space journey started late in comparison to America or Russia, today we are in a position where our research findings are similar to those of America and Russia," said Jitendra Singh, India's Science and Technology Minister.

"Gaganyaan would be India's first human flight and it will also be an excellent symbol of self-reliance as it will increase the confidence of the nation," he said.

"In the next year, there will be two preliminary launches. The first launch will be unmanned and this experiment will be done to mark the routes because if the 'Gaganyaan' rocket goes into space then it should also return safely the same way."

Officials said the second experimental launch will carry a robot resembling a human instead of real astronauts.

"When both the experiments assure that we are completely ready, and then in the third one we will send humans into space," Singh said.

The cost of the program is estimated to be around one billion euros, India’s Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said while confirming the crowded calendar of the manned space program.

"Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching a crew of three members to an orbit of 400 kilometres for a three-day mission and bringing them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters," ISRO said.

Engineers said the maiden spacecraft will be launched to an altitude of 15 kilometres during which ISRO scientists will conduct experiments to simulate an abort scenario to ensure the return crew capsule can come back to earth using parachutes.

The second orbital flight will take Gaganyaan capsule to a higher altitude for elaborate tests to perfect onboard flight systems.

The Indian Air Force deputed four of its test pilots as the potential crew for the human space flight, officials said and added they had already been trained in Russia, India’s largest arms supplier.

Moon Mission

The ISRO also plans to launch its Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission this year amid reports a rocket could blast off for the moon next month or if not in February then in July.

Chandrayaan-2 was declared a failure when its lander crashed on the surface of the moon after veering off trajectory on 6 September 2019.

ISRO officials told RFI the glitches have been removed and the lander's arms had been further strengthened to withstand greater shock on the moon's craggy surface.

In 2014, India sent a rocket to Mars and succeeded in the first attempt while others failed. The expedition to the red planet cost €71 million, 11 percent of NASA's Maven orbiter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened India’s tightly-controlled space sector to private industries to speed up research and investment in projects.

"Rules have been simplified. Space has been opened for private public participation (and) today the result is that private rockets are being launched from there," Singh added.