4 Indian astronaut aspirants complete training in Russia for Gaganyaan mission

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Moscow: Four Indian officers, who were selected to become astronauts to crew Gaganyaan into orbit, have completed their one-year training course in Russia’s Zvyozdny gorodok city near Moscow.

The Gaganyaan mission is aimed at sending astronauts to space in an orbital spacecraft.

“In the evening we met with Indian gaganauts who had completed their training at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. We also discussed with the (Indian) ambassador the future bilateral space projects,” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian state space corporation,said on his Telegram channel, as quoted by Sputnik.

The contract for the training of Indian officers was signed between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Russian launch service provider Glavcosmos in June 2019. The four pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) include a Group Captain and three Wing Commanders, according to the IAF sources.

The training began on February 10, 2020, but it was temporarily interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the ISRO officials had said that after receiving training in Russia, these astronauts will now receive module-specific training in India. They will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has sanctioned 10,000 crores for the Gaganyaan project.

Earlier this month, Union Minister of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh had said the ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme envisages sending humans in space.

In a statement laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha in reply to a question, the Minister had said that the objective of programme is to demonstrate the capability to send humans to Low earth orbit (LEO) on board an Indian Launch vehicle and bring them back to earth safely.

“ISRO has wide experience in technological areas with respect to the launch vehicle, spacecraft management and ground infrastructure etc and it has taken steps for a human rating of existing systems to ensure crew safety. India is proud of the fact that many Indian scientists are doing significant work in collaboration with international institutions,” he had added.

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