In a major boost for India’s ambitious manned-mission Gaganyaan, Russia has decided to select and train for astronauts, a Times of India report said on Wednesday. The Rs 10,000-crore project is India’s maiden attempt to send a human into space. As of now, there are only three countries in the world that have so far been able to send humans to space. The US, Russia and China have been able to send humans to send into space. After intense training, 12 astronauts selected from India will be sent to Russia for another grilling programme. Out of these 12, Russia will select and train four astronauts, ISRO boss K Sivan was quoted as saying by Times of India.
The report said that the modalities were discussed during the recent Moscow visit of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Russia will be training the four Indian astronauts at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center situated in Moscow’s Star City, the TOI report said. The final contours of the arrangements between India and Russia will be negotiated during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Russia’s Vladivostok, which is slated between September 4 and 6.
A human-rated GSLV Mk-lll will carry the orbital module to ensure sustention of the 3-member crew for seven days. Gaganyaan Mission is expected to establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organisations. Scientists say Gaganyaan has huge potential to spinoff technologies in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution, waste management, water and food resource management etc.
Apart from Russia, ISRO experts will also receive training from France. Experts from ISRO will be receiving training for the ‘Gaganyaan’ project at the Toulouse Space Centre in France, French space agency CNES said recently. The experts will also be trained at CADMOS, the centre for development of microgravity applications and space operations, and the MEDES Space Clinic in France, it said. The pact was signed after ISRO chairman K Sivan and CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall held a meeting at Bengaluru and discussed a range of issues to intensify cooperation in the area.
The ambit of the cooperation includes giving ISRO the access to space hospital facilities in France and combining the expertise of the two countries in the field of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support radiation protection and space debris.