India is planning a manned space mission. This week 60 Indian scientists will meet to discuss a mission to space and possibly to the Moon.
S. Krishnamurthy, the space agency's spokesman, told the Indian Express daily that India wanted to avoid being left behind in the global space race. "There is now a feeling that 20 years down the line, other countries would have explored the Moon for minerals and India must not be left behind," said Krishnamurthy.
The agency will present the scientists with a plan for a crewed space mission and ask for their feedback, including whether the enterprise should be to the Moon and whether it should be exclusively Indian.
Krishnamurthy said the "how and when" of the potential mission would be decided later: "Whether the mission will involve orbiting of the Moon will be decided only if we get a favourable opinion for a manned space mission."