In sensational development at Indian Space Research Organisation, four ace Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots have been selected for country’s 2022 maiden manned mission Gaganyaan around the earth’s orbit.
The active quartet will undergo training in Russia from the third week of this month for becoming the first-ever Indian crew to go into space from native soil. The names and identities of the selected IAF pilots have not been revealed yet.
ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said that the four IAF pilots are ready for their first manned space mission. Dr K Sivan further added that three pilots will go into space to orbit around the Earth for a week and then do experiments in micro-gravity and bio-science.
“We have selected four IAF pilots for our first manned space mission in 2021-22. Three of them will go into space to orbit around the earth for a week and conduct experiments in micro-gravity and bio-science,” ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan was quoted as saying by news agency IAS.
“The four pilots have undergone medical tests at the Indian Aviation Medicine of the IAF in Bengaluru and in Russia at the space agency, which will train them in all aspects of a manned mission in outer space,” he added in a statement.
It should be noted that IAF test pilot Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to have gone into space as a cosmonaut aboard Soyuz-T from Russia on April 2, 1984 when he was 35 years old.
In the build-up to the manned mission, the space agency will launch up to three unmanned missions in 2020 and 2021 with humanoids in a bid to test the human rating of the propulsion modules, as well as the crew module and the escape system in the event of any emergency in the spacecraft.
It should be noted that India’s space programme will attempt the mission after Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram crashlanded on the far side of the moon’s south pole in September last year. India is giving absolutely everything to become only the fourth country after Russia, the US and China to put men on the lunar surface of the moon.
With inputs from news agency IANS.