15/08/2018 10:49 AM IST | Updated 15/08/2018 10:50 AM IST

India Will Launch First Manned Space Mission By 2022, Says PM Modi

He said this while making his I-Day speech from the Red Fort in New Delhi

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2018

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India will launch its first manned space mission by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, which could make it the fourth nation to do so after the United States, Russia and China.

In his last Independence Day speech before a general election early next year, Modi also said the government would launch a medical insurance scheme for the poor from Sept. 25.

"It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare," Modi said in an address from the ramparts of the Mughal-era Red Fort in Delhi in India's 72nd year of independence.