Even as all eyes were on Chandrayaan 2’s soft land on the moon’s surface, behind the scenes ISRO and the Air Force are already busy planning for Gaganyaan, the nation’s first manned space mission.
The IAF on Friday announced that the first level of selection of potential astronauts has been completed. In a tweet it said:
#MissionGaganyaan -IAF completed Level-1 of Indian Astronaut selection at Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Selected Test Pilots underwent extensive physical exercise tests, lab investigations, radiological tests, clinical tests & evaluation on various facets of their psychology. pic.twitter.com/O3QYWJYlQd
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) September 6, 2019
The Gaganyaan mission, which will consist of two unmanned flights in addition to the manned one, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech last year, is scheduled to launch by December 2021.
The mission entails placing a three-member crew into a low-Earth orbit for a period of seven days. If successful, it will make India the fourth country to independently send human beings into space.
The chosen astronauts – four in total – will then be sent to Russia by November for 15 months of training.