On 8th June 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge), Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES); and Ministry of Science & Technology announced that India is set to simultaneously launch the first Human Space Mission “Gaganyaan” as well as the first manned Human Ocean Mission in 2023.
- The announcement was made during the event organised as a part of World Ocean Day 2022(8th June) at Prithvi Bhawan, Delhi.
- He also announced that the government is set to unveil the Blue Economy Policy and more than 40 million people will be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh stated that the trials for both the Space and Ocean manned missions have reached an advanced stage and both the missions are likely to be launched in the second half of 2023.
i.The sea trials of 500 metre rated shallow water version of the manned submersible are expected to be conducted in 2023. Following this the trial of MATSYA 6000, the deep-water manned submersible will be conducted in the 2nd quarter of 2024.
ii.For Gaganyaan, the major missions: Test vehicle flight for the validation of Crew Escape System performance and the 1st Uncrewed mission of Gaganyaan (G1), are scheduled to be held in 2nd half of 2022.
iii.The second uncrewed mission, carrying “Vyommitra” a spacefaring human-robot developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), is scheduled for the end of 2022 and the first crewed Gaganyaan mission is scheduled for 2023.
Deep Ocean Mission:
i.The Deep Ocean Mission, approved by the government of India in June 2021 is implemented by the MOES at a total budget of Rs 4077 crore for 5 years.
ii.The mission was the result of the ambition to explore the unlimited possibilities of the ocean.
iii.The hidden mineral wealth of the sea and the thermal energy from seawater offer great opportunities for the development of India.
iv.Under this mission, the government invites the development of niche technology and collaboration with Industries in carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, and hydro-thermal sulphides and cobalt crusts, located at a depth between 1000 and 5500 metres.
Union Minister highlighted the depletion of big fish populations by 90% and destruction of 50% of coral reefs and called for the joint efforts to create a new balance with the ocean that restores its vibrancy and brings it new life.
According to the COP resolutions, all nations should put efforts to protect at least 30 % of our blue planet by 2030 and added that it’s very critical that 30 % of our planet’s lands, waters and oceans are protected and hence it is known as 30 by 30 or 30X30.
- The 30×30 initiative is a global initiative for the governments to designate 30% of Earth’s land and ocean area as protected areas by 2030.
Note: India has a long coastline of 7,517 km, contributing to the ecological richness, biodiversity and economy.
About Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES):
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)