"Today I want to give the country a good news; we have resolved that by 2022, before we celebrate 75 years of independence, or if possible, even before that, a son or daughter of India, will go to space with the tricolour in hand," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort during the celebration of the 72nd Independence Day.

Modi said the Indian scientists have showcased tremendous capabilities to launch the Mars rover Mangalyaan, and promised that India's Gaganyaan will now send a human being to space.

"This Gaganyaan will be taken to space by an Indian, powered by the research efforts of the Indian scientists. When that happens, India will become the fourth nation in the world to have sent man to space," the prime minister said. 

Modi encouraged the scientists of the nation for this task and lauded their work. 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been doing stellar work for decades and India has alrady sent missions to the moon (Chandrayaan) and Mars, apart from launching several communication and remote-sensing satellites.

In 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to travel to space on board a Soviet rocket.

It may be noted that only the US, Russia and China had achieved independent human spaceflight capability so far.