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Indian Astronauts training well for India’s manned space mission ‘Gaganyaan’

The 4 astronauts, shortlisted for the mission are undergoing a rigorous 11 months training which will complete in the first quarter of 2021. All the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity has not been revealed.

“The training Indian astronauts are doing well,” said Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, in a statement. The training of 4 Indian astronauts for the ambitious manned space mission had started early this year in Russia.

The Indian cosmonauts are undergoing training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) following the courses of the general space training program and the systems of the Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft.

To date, Indian cosmonauts have completed training on crew actions in the event of an abnormal descent module landing: in wooded and marshy areas in winter (completed in February 2020), on the water surface (completed in June 2020) and in the steppe in summer (completed in July 2020).

They have also completed training in short-term weightlessness mode aboard the IL-76MDK special laboratory aircraft, and in July, they were trained to lift aboard a helicopter while evacuating from the descent module landing point.

The contract for the Indian candidates’ training for spaceflight was signed between Gavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on June 27, 2019. On February 10, 2020, GCTC started training of the four Indian cosmonauts.

The entire process of preparation and training is taking place in Russia including, the regular courses comprising medical and physical training, and studying the configuration, structure, and systems of the Soyuz crewed spacecraft. Their health status is monitored daily. The Indian astronauts also have to learn Russian as one of the main international languages of communication in space.

As per the ISRO sources, India’s heaviest launch vehicle “Bahubali” GSLV Mark-III will carry the astronauts to space. Rs.10, 000 crores has already been sanctioned by the Union Cabinet for the Gaganyaan project. This followed the announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Independence Day last year, stating that the Gaganyaan launch will coincide with the 75th year of India’s Independence.

The select candidates will soon be training in a centrifuge and in a hyperbaric chamber to prepare them for sustaining spaceflight factors, such as G-force, hypoxia, and pressure drops.

So far the training has been hard but the instructors at the GCTC praise the effort and high motivation of the Indian cosmonauts. “They also note their extremely serious and very professional attitude to the training process. All of the Indian cosmonauts are in good health and are determined to continue their training.” said the statement by ROSCOSMOS

The 4 astronauts, shortlisted for the mission, are expected to receive training for 11 months. The completion of their training at GCTC is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. All the four astronauts selected for the mission are men but their identity has not been revealed.

After 11 months of training in Russia, the astronauts will receive module-specific training in India where they will be trained in crew and service module designed by ISRO, learn to operate it, work around it and do simulations.

Though the first Indian to go into space was Rakesh Sharma in 1984 but the spacecraft in which he went was not Indian. Therefore, Gaganyaan will be the first-ever human space mission conceived and developed in India, as a distinct illustration of the Prime Minister’s “Make in India” vision.

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